Nation’s First Study of Private
Residential Treatment Programs Shows:
Teens Improve at Turn-About Ranch

Read more: Results one year after discharge >>

Between August 2003 and January 2006, Aspen Education Group (previous owner of Turn-About Ranch) participated in the nation’s first large-scale study of its kind, measuring the effectiveness of Aspen’s private residential programs for teens and their families. The study collected survey responses, both at program admission and then again at discharge, from 993 young people ages 13-18, enrolled in Aspen’s residential programs. The study also collected responses from their parents or guardians. The following are highlights that might prove valuable in evaluating your decision to enroll your child in a private residential program.

This ground breaking study was conducted by an independent research company, Canyon Research and Consulting, with oversight by the Western Institutional Review Board. Results of this study were presented at the 114th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association – August 2006.

Aspen and Turn-About Ranch’s Programs Reduce Behavioral Problems

Teens Are Behaving Better As A Result Of Aspen and Turn-About Ranch’s Programs

a graph showing success at Turn-About Ranch

What Parents and their Teens told Researchers: At admission to the program, common behaviors included:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Withdrawal
  • Rule breaking

Why this may be important to you: Both parents and teens agreed the teens’ behavior was not in the normal range of a typical teenager prior to treatment. At discharge, teens were far more cooperative, with their negative behaviors diminished to ‘normal’ levels.

Aspen’s Programs Reduce Emotional Problems

Aspen’s Programs Help Teens Feel Better About Themselves

a graph showing success at Turn-About Ranch

What Parents and Their Teens Told Researchers: The majority of teens entering the program were experiencing emotional problems, including higher levels of:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Why This May Be Important To You: After treatment in an Aspen residential program, both parents and teens indicated the teens’ emotional problems had been reduced to a normal range. Aspen’s programs helped teens develop a better sense of self, providing the confidence to be less susceptible to peer pressure, and other outside influences.

Aspen’s Private Residential Programs Succeed Where Others Do Not…

What Parents and Their Teens Told Researchers: 95% of the teens had received prior treatment at other levels-of-care including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Psychiatric hospitalization
  • Use of prescribed psychiatric medication
  • Treatment at another residential therapy program or boarding school


8 out of 10 teens who came to Aspen residential programs previously participated in individual and/or group therapy.

Why This May Be Important To You: Aspen’s residential programs provided more than just hope for these teens and their families. Teens who have not responded to other treatments improve during treatment at Aspen’s private residential treatment programs.

Better Lives For Teens

What Parents And Their Teens Told Researchers: Upon admission, teens were experiencing various psychological and social challenges including:

  • Disruptive behavior disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Mood disorders
  • Learning disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma

Why This May Be Important To You: After enrollment, participation and completion of an Aspen program, there was dramatic improvement on all measures of psychological and social issues. In fact, 97% of parents reported that their teens’ overall symptoms relating to these issues were reduced. These results indicate the majority of adolescents change in positive, meaningful, and reliable ways during private residential treatment at Aspen’s programs.

Aspen Helps Families In Trouble

What Parents and Their Teens Told Researchers: At discharge from the program, both parents and teens reported:

  • Better family communications
  • Improved personal family dynamics

Why This May Be Important To You: Prior to treatment, teens and their families were showing signs of serious trouble. Teens and parents weren’t communicating effectively, teens weren’t complying with family rules and expectations, and the whole family was suffering. Aspen’s programs brought significant, positive change to these families.

What this study means for parents: Turn-About Ranch recognizes the difficult challenges parents face when considering a treatment program for their child. Parents often wonder, ’Will a program work for my child? For our family?’ This study indicates Turn-About Ranch’s residential programs do work. They help create better lives for teens, parents, and the whole family.

What this study means for students: Turn-About Ranch’s program helps teens to feel better about themselves, improve their behavior, and develop stronger family relationships.

Read the entire study here (Acrobat Reader Required)

Funding for this study was provided by Aspen Education Group.


"In a time of turmoil with our child and researching a facility, hands down we couldn’t have found a better place. A big part of our decision was made by talking to past parents."

- Hopeful in Nebraska, May 2021

"TAR was wonderful for helping my daughter. Staff is great to the kids and she is getting the help she needs. While visiting at mid term I was very pleased with ranch staff was so great. And my daughter was so excited to show us around and meet everyone that works there. I got nothing but positive feedback from my daughter. Thank you turnabout ranch."

- Rene Stepanian

"Absolutely recommend this program without a doubt. I was a frustrated mother at a breaking with a struggling teenager that hit rock bottom. Without this program in our life, I don't know if I would have ever seen his smiling face again. I can't say enough about the staff, counseling and program itself. Don't listen to the negativity with reviews, I didn't. It was a tough decision but thank God every day I trusted my gut and the program. I have my son back and yes it's a tough structured program but all in a good way, the way it needs to be. He needed a drastic measure and TAR exceeded my expectations. Worth every penny. Thank you!!!"

- Amanda J. Miller

"TAR saved my daughter's life ~ She is now happy, very successful and I owe so much of that to them!"

- Wendy Werner

"My daughter was at Turn About Ranch. This program not only saved her life but also United us as a family. It was the most humbling experience of my life and leaving her was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Getting her back - as she was before she got into trouble - was the most rewarding and amazing thing. It’s the end result that makes the process worth while. The staff was so wonderful. They made this experience easier to go through. Michelle and Lorie keep me posted on my daughters initial days then the weekly posting of her progress gave me strength. The staff made such an impression on my daughter that she wants to continue a relationship with them. Her therapist called weekly and never held back on setting her father and I straight. This program is not only for our children but for the entire family. Don’t hesitate! This program will work if all efforts are made by both the parents and child. Totally worth it. My daughter is now home and in private school and putting her life back together day by day. It’s a blessing to know Turn About Ranch is still there if we need them. Very happy mom in San Diego."

- Julissa Hernandez

Turn-About Ranch

280 N 300 E.
Escalante, UT 84726
(800) 842-1165