Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Women-Employment, Adolescent psychotherapy-Residential treatment-Employees, Harassment, Sexual harrassment of women, Sex discrimination in employment, Sex role in the work environment, Workplace, Residential treatment, Sexism, Gender roles, Female staff, Stereotypes, Adolescent, Discrimination


This exploratory study was undertaken to examine women's experiences working in residential treatment facilities for adolescent males, and to better understand the existing gender dynamics in this particular setting. The research questions guiding this study were: How do gender stereotypes affect women's experiences working in residential treatment with adolescent males? How do women feel that they are perceived by co-workers and residents? Thirteen women participated in this qualitative study. Six women performed clinical roles, three were direct care staff, three were case managers, and one was a teacher. Through structured interviews, the participants provided narratives about their agency/job requirements or responsibilities, relationship dynamics with co-workers, relationship dynamics with residents, and their own perceptions of their gender and racial identities. The study revealed that residential treatment facilities for adolescent males are workplaces where gender inequality has persisted, with policies and expectations being enforced unequally. Women are expected to fulfill stereotypical gender roles, and reported having to disprove gender stereotypes in order to be viewed as competent workers. Gender and sexuality are elements of the residential milieu that demand closer attention in order to improve women's workplace experiences and to guarantee the integrity of the therapeutic environment.




iii, 82 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 69-74)