skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 167145 Find in a Library
Title: Responsible Problem Solving: Using Perceptual Control Theory
Journal: Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1997)  Pages:11-17
Author(s): B G Dennis
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 7
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper explains the concepts of perceptual control theory and how it can be applied in the treatment of juveniles.
Abstract: The basic concept of perceptual control theory (PCT), as developed by William T. Powers, is that perceptions are the only reality or knowledge of the outside world that one can experience. That being the case, the purpose of all behavior is to control our perceptions of one's world. PCT helps to understand that all human beings are always trying to achieve the wants or goals of their choice. They do this by thinking and making plans and by behaving to influence some variable in the outside world. By providing a different way of thinking about problemsolving, PCT helps those who work with juveniles, as well as juvenile clients, see what is happening in their lives as living control systems. More importantly, it helps juvenile staff understand what can be done to guide juvenile offenders to make more positive choices in their thinking and behaviors by learning to solve their own problems in positive, responsible, and legal ways. The emphasis is on the types of questions, thought processes, and problemsolving skills that are intended to keep the juveniles in control of their perceptual worlds. In this way they are assisted in learning internal control skills that will transfer back with them into their communities. The juveniles will then have the tools to accept responsibility for themselves, their perceptions, and their behaviors. 12 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile treatment methods
Index Term(s): Decisionmaking; Moral development; Socialization
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.