Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Enactments of a “holistic approach” in two Danish welfare institutions accommodating young adults with offending behavior and drug use experiences

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss how a “holistic approach” is enacted in two interventions accommodating the same target group, young adults with offending behaviour and drug use experiences, but offered in very different contexts, the Prison Service and the community. The aim is to show how enactments of a “holistic approach”, although similar on paper, differ in welfare institutional practices due especially to organisational and structural conditions. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on qualitative semi-structured interviews and written material from and about the two interventions. Findings: Different enactments of a “holistic approach”, due to organisational and structural conditions of the interventions, construct different possibilities for institutional identities. These insights could be useful to take into consideration when discussing prevention initiatives (in a broad sense) for young people with complex problems, including co-occurring offending behaviour and drug use experience. Originality/value: Research with a focus on citizens with complex problems who do not comply with OR conform to standard welfare institutions are limited. The authors contribute to this literature by focussing on young adults with offending behaviour and drug experiences.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDrugs and Alcohol Today
Pages (from-to)208-219
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

    Research areas

  • Complex problems, Denmark, Holistic approach, Institutional identities, Prevention, Young adults

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