Hawthorne Profiles Show Clusters

The population of youth seen at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls School, while almost universally experiencing serious psychosocial difficulties, is not homogenous, according to preliminary results of a separate HCKS Patient Profile Study also released by Drs. Robert Abramovitz, Bruce Grellong, and Mark Mattaini. The study identified five relatively distinct clusters of patients receiving services at HCKS.

While every cluster is characterized by a high level of problems in relationships with parents, one group is characterized by a particularly high level of violent and anti-social behavior. A second cluster appears to have a particularly high level of substance abuse problems at admission, accompanied by severe depression and school problems. A third small cluster appears to be suffering from the results of parental loss. The largest cluster is a group with particularly severe school problems including learning disabilities, conduct disorders, problems with peers and emotional difficulties. For the final cluster, the primary difficulties revolve around severe family problems.

Five distinct clusters of families, based on dimensions of family functioning like communication and affective involvement, as well as on positives and negatives exchanged with the environment, were also identified. Substance abuse has been present in about half of the families, physical violence in almost as many, and the rates of separation and divorce, death, and physical illness or disability were also high. Treatment implications will be discussed in the final report, due to be released this winter.