Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

White River Academy is a residential treatment center for troubled boys from ages 12 to 17. The students at White River Academy are dealing with behavioral, mental or substance abuse issues. These issues, if left unchecked, can stunt physical and personal growth. Students who attend White River Academy may also have experienced difficulty in school, social issues, possible learning disabilities, substance abuse problems or mental health issues, such as:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Low-self-esteem

  • Adoption and attachment issues

  • Oppositional defiant disorder, ODD

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD

  • Bipolar disorder

Many parents can learn more about their son’s problem in order to better understand, support and help the young man through treatment. There is a wealth of information available on the issues an adolescent can face, making it difficult for parents to find the best resources applicable to the situation.

It is for this reason that White River Academy has developed the Recommended Reading page. Below is a list of the top literature and website resources to help with the most common problems facing teenagers today. More information is also available on the Articles and Stories page.

Books to read

  • “Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men,” by Leonard Sax.

    Author, Leonard Sax, compiles scientific evidence and years of clinical practice to detail why boys are failing at school and unengaged at home. Sax details the biological, social and environmental factors creating a harmful situation for boys. Sax also provides practical solutions parents and teachers can implement to help create a better environment.

  • “Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences,” by Leonard Sax.

    This book discusses the biological differences between genders that contribute to the ways children feel, think and act. Many of these differences can lead to a lack of understanding by parents and teachers, including the belief a child is misbehaving when he or she is not. Sax provides information based on new scientific research to help readers better understand children and adolescents based on biological gender differences.

  • “Leadership & Self Deception: Getting out of the Box,” by the Arbinger Institute.

    The Arbinger Institute not only describes the ways in which people easily blind themselves to their true motivations, but does so through a thought-provoking story. Readers also learn the ways in which people unknowingly ruin their efforts to become successful and happy. It also provides insight into how teens and adults turn into their own worst enemies.

  • “Positive Peer Culture,” by Harry H. Vorrath and Larry K. Brendtro.

    This book encompasses the idea of positive peer culture; an approach to guiding youth to help themselves that is widely used at White River Academy. Positive peer culture’s foundation is a belief that troubled youth can develop positive feelings of self-worth, dignity, significance, and responsibility through learning the positive values of helping others. The second edition of this book adds information on maintaining the positive peer culture program in various settings from school to treatment facilities.

  • “Theories of Delinquency: An Examination of Explanations of Delinquent Behaviors,” by Donald J. Shoemaker.

    In this book, Donald Shoemaker explores the topic of delinquent behaviors and examines the possible explanations for said behaviors. The sixth edition of this book includes up-to-date developments in the theory of delinquency. Some of the theories brought up in this book include anomie and social disorganization, differential association, drift theory, psychological and biological explanations and more.

Websites to visit:

National Institute of Mental Health, Child and Adolescent information is helpful website identifying symptoms, treatment and other information on mental health disorders and substance abuse.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Facts for Families features pages that can help parents understand the how and why of what is going on with their adolescent or teen.

Teen Online is a handy hub of crisis contact information.

Healthy’s section on teenagers is produced by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Our unique combination of challenging outdoor physical activities and extensive project service within the local community enhances a teen’s sense of purpose and creativity, dissolves feelings of entitlement and helps boys look outside themselves to discover a life worth living. This personal growth starts them down the path to becoming men. We move students away from drug or alcohol abuse, behavioral issues and excessive gaming or social media use.

White River’s program provides perspective and challenge for boys in the form of a “developmental vacation.” We will provide them with the tools to fulfill their potential and become the men they are meant to be. Call our admissions team now at 866-520-0905 to discuss your situation and see if White River Academy is the right option for your son.

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What makes us great!


Justin Nielson

Program Administrator

It is natural for parents to worry and have concerns when sending their son away to a residential treatment center. We hope this detailed description of the admission process at White River Academy will answer some of your questions.

  • Small and Family-Directed

  • Accredited Educational Facility

  • Individualized Academics

  • Behavior Learning Component

  • Positive Peer Culture

  • Licensed Residential Treatment Center

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