What Do Pediatric Residents Gain From an Experience in Juvenile Justice? A Qualitative Analysis of Community-Based Learning

Elizabeth R Hanson, Erin P. Finley, Jean A. Petershack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background Training in advocacy and community pediatrics often involves the use of community site visits. However, data on the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained from these experiences are limited. In this study we used qualitative analysis of written narratives to explore the response of residents to a juvenile justice experience. Methods Pediatric residents participated in a week-long experience in the juvenile probation department and completed a written narrative. Narratives were analyzed using grounded theory to explore the effects of this experience on residents' views of youth in the juvenile justice system. Results Analysis of 29 narratives revealed 13 themes relating to 5 core concepts: social determinants of behavior, role of professionals and institutions, achieving future potential, resolving discrepancies, and distancing. A conceptual model was developed to explore the interactions of these concepts in the resident view of youth in the juvenile justice system. Of the themes only 3 (23%) were related to content explicitly covered in the assigned reading materials. Conclusions Several important concepts emerged as elements of this experience, many of which were not covered in the explicit curriculum. Variability in attitudinal response to the experience raised important questions about the influence of the ideological framework of the learner and the hidden curriculum on the learning that occurs in community settings. We propose a theoretical model that delineates the factors that influence learning in community settings to guide educators in planning these types of experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-302
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • advocacy training
  • community pediatrics
  • juvenile justice
  • qualitative analysis
  • resident education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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