About 34 p.c. of the patients coming from Mannheim or outskirts treated in the child and adolescent psychiatric clinic situated in the centre of Mannheim attended a kindergarten, a public school or being at work outside the clinic while in part-time in-patient treatment or before release. These patients scored somewhat but not significantly higher on intelligence tests, had better school attainment and consisted of a relatively higher proportion of females compared with patients who were not involved in activities outside the clinic. Diagnostically a somewhat greater number of psychosis, neurotic/emotional disorders were found among the part-time group and they showed also more associations with abnormal familial background, a higher proportion of part-time patients were not discharged to their families and have been treated for a longer time respectively. Not related to the length of treatment a significantly more positive successful treatment could be demonstrated among the part-time group. Particular aspects of a more realistic approach of treatment are discussed.