Lieke van DomburghVUmc / Pluryn - Intermetzo
Research Items (51)
Psychosocial problems during adolescence are heterogenic, rather common, and unstable. At the same time, they are associated with an elevated risk of developing psychiatric disorders later in life. We aimed to describe the trajectories of psychosocial problems during adolescence and examine potential markers of persistence as compared to remission of these problems. At baseline, 1841 adolescents (51.4% female) were included. Of these adolescents, 1512 (mean age = 12.6 [range 11–14 years]; 52.8% female) completed the first and second self-report questionnaires on psychosocial problems (measured with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire), psychotic experiences, trauma, self-esteem and somatic symptoms at two time points over a 1-year period. Regression analyses were used to examine the association between potential predictors and the trajectory of psychosocial problems (remitting versus persistent). Four trajectories were distinguished: 75.6% of the sample showed no problems (the ‘none’ trajectory), 11.9% were in a ‘remitting’ trajectory, 9.7% were in an ‘incident’ trajectory and 2.8% were in the ‘persistent’ trajectory. Hallucinatory experiences and trauma at baseline were significantly associated with persistence of psychosocial problems compared to those with remitting psychosocial problems. Low rather than high self-esteem was associated with lower risk for persistent problems. Risk of persistence of psychosocial problems increased with accumulation of predictors. Psychotic, especially hallucinatory, experiences and trauma predict persistence of psychosocial problems in adolescents. This underlines the need to assess psychotic experiences and trauma in mental health screening programs.
Non-violent Resistance (NVR) is a method to manage child and adolescent aggressive behavior and to decrease parental helplessness. Although developed for a family setting, this paper describes the adaptation of NVR for child and adolescent residential settings, reports on the possible hampering and facilitating elements of implementing NVR in four different institutions and finally presents seclusion and restraint rates before and after implementation. Retrospective analysis of the different implementation processes suggested the following elements to facilitate implementation: awareness that NVR is not a quick fix, a considerable amount of time and financial investment, a team-wide perspective, support from all levels in an organization and influential team members committed to NVR to decrease the risk of falling back into more familiar patterns. Seclusion and restraint figures pre-post point in the direction that the implementation of an adapted version of NVR in residential settings could result in decreased seclusion and restraint. Furthermore, this decrease was most pronounced in sites with a successful implementation process. This observational study provides a starting point for an empirical basis for the use of NVR within child and adolescent residential settings. Further research on successful implementation processes for multi-level, milieu-based interventions, such as NVR, is required.
Background Severe behavioural problems (SBPs1) in childhood are highly prevalent, impair functioning, and predict negative outcomes later in life. Over the last decade, clinical practice guidelines for SBPs have been developed across Europe to facilitate the translation of scientific evidence into clinical practice. This study outlines the results of an investigation into academic experts’ perspectives on the current prevalence, implementation, and utility of clinical guidelines for SBPs in children aged 6–12 across Europe. Methods An online semi-structured questionnaire was completed by 28 psychiatry and psychology experts from 23 countries. Results Experts indicated that approximately two thirds of the included European countries use at least an unofficial clinical document such as textbooks, while nearly half possess official guidelines for SBPs. Experts believed that, although useful for practice, guidelines’ benefits would be maximised if they included more specific recommendations and were implemented more conscientiously. Similarly, experts suggested that unofficial clinical documents offer a wide range of treatment options to individualise treatment from. However, they stressed the need for more consistent, evidence-based clinical practices, by means of developing national and European clinical guidelines for SBPs. Conclusions This study offers a preliminary insight into the current successes and challenges perceived by experts around Europe associated with guidelines and documents for SBPs, acting as a stepping stone for future systematic, in-depth investigations of guidelines. Additionally, it establishes experts’ consensus for the need to develop official guidelines better tailored to clinical practice, creating a momentum for a transition towards European clinical guidelines for this population.
Purpose Research shows that the prevalence of psychiatric problems is higher in ethnic minority youth compared to native youth. This school-based screening study of early adolescents’ mental health in the Netherlands examined differences in prevalence of psychotic experiences in ethnic minority youth compared to their Dutch peers. Moreover, we investigated the association between psychotic experiences, ethnic identity, and perceived discrimination. Methods A cohort of 1194 ethnic majority and minority adolescents (mean age 13.72, SD 0.63) filled-out questionnaires on psychotic experiences (including delusional and hallucinatory experiences), perceived group and personal discrimination, and ethnic identity. Results Apart from lower levels of hallucinatory experiences in Turkish–Dutch adolescents, prevalence of psychotic experiences did not differ between ethnic minority and majority adolescents. Perceived personal discrimination was associated with the presence of psychotic experiences (including delusional and hallucinatory experiences) (OR 2.30, 95% CI 1.22–4.34). This association was stronger for delusional experiences (OR 2.94, 95% CI 1.43–6.06) than for hallucinatory experiences (OR 1.65, 95% CI 0.73–3.72). No significant associations were found between perceived group discrimination and psychotic experiences. A weak ethnic identity was associated with higher risk for reporting psychotic experiences (OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.14–3.66), particularly hallucinatory experiences (OR 3.15, 95% CI 1.54–6.44). When looking at specific ethnic identity categories, marginalization, compared to separation, was associated with a threefold risk for reporting psychotic experiences (OR 3.26, 95% CI 1.33–8.03). Both marginalisation (OR 3.17, 95% CI 1.04–9.63) and assimilation (OR 3.25, 95% CI 1.30–8.13) were associated with a higher risk for hallucinatory experiences. Conclusions These results underline the protective effect of ethnic identity against mental health problems. Future research should focus on interventions that focus on strengthen social identity.
- Dec 2018
Background: Participation of parents during their adolescent’s detention is important for achieving positive treatment outcomes for youths and their families. To improve parental participation, insight in facilitating or hindering factors is necessary. To this end, we studied the perspectives of parents of adolescents detained in two juvenile justice institutions in the Netherlands. Methods: Data were collected from 19 purposefully selected parents through semi-structured interviewing. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and imported into ATLAS.ti where data were coded and analyzed. Results: Parental participation is influenced by a variety of factors that could be categorized based on the following themes: (1) practical facilitating or obstructing factors; (2) parent-related emotional and mental factors; and (3) factors concerning issues of the parent-adolescent relationship. Discussion: Insight into the factors which facilitate and obstruct participation might help JJI staff understand differences in parental participation. This may enable them to tailor solutions which would improve parental participation during their adolescent’s detention.
Background Substance use and delinquency are considered to be mutual risk factors. Previous studies have shown that multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) is effective in tackling both conditions on the short term. The current study examines the long-term effects of MDFT on criminal offending. Methods 109 adolescents with cannabis use disorder and comorbid problem behavior were randomly assigned to either MDFT or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Police arrest data were collected for 6 years: 3 years prior to and 3 years after treatment entry. Using survival analysis and repeated measure General Linear Models (rmGLM), the two treatment groups were compared on number of arrests, type of offence, and severity of offence. Moderator analyses looking at age, disruptive behavior disorders, history of crimes, family functioning, and (severe) cannabis use were conducted (rmGLM). Results While police arrest rates increased in the 3 years before treatment, the rates decreased substantially after the start of both treatments. No differences were found between the treatment groups with respect to either time to first offence from the start of the treatment or changes in frequency or severity of offending over time. A treatment effect trend favoring MDFT was found for property offending in the subgroup of adolescents with high baseline-severity of cannabis use. Conclusions Across a follow-up period of 3 years, MDFT and CBT were similarly effective in reducing delinquency in adolescents with a cannabis use disorder. Trial registration ISRCTN51014277, Registered 17 March 2010—Retrospectively registered, http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN51014277
- Nov 2018
Aim Mental health intervention programs for adolescents generally focus on specific symptoms, such as anxiety or depression. Psychiatric symptoms in adolescence are often heterogeneous, transient and shift over time. These characteristics require a transdiagnostic approach with emphasis on positive psychological development. This study aimed to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of Mastermind, a novel transdiagnostic intervention targeting general underlying mechanisms of psychiatric symptoms in adolescents. Methods Adolescents were screened for psychiatric symptoms with the Strengths and Difficulties Scale in a school‐based program in two consecutive years. Adolescents were eligible for the intervention when they had psychiatric symptoms at both screening assessments. Participants received an 8 weeks program containing elements of empowerment and attention bias modification. Psychiatric symptoms were assessed before the start of the intervention, immediately after the intervention and at 6‐month follow‐up. Results A total of 241 adolescents were eligible for the intervention, of whom 80 participated (mean age 12.5 years). Generalized Estimating Equations, adjusted for gender and educational level, showed a decrease of negative attention bias, psychotic, anxiety, depression and behavioural symptoms immediately after intervention. The effects remained at follow‐up. Overall risk for psychiatric disorders, distress and low self‐esteem had decreased at follow‐up. Conclusions A simple two‐step school‐based screening can identify adolescents with persistent psychiatric symptoms. The Mastermind transdiagnostic group intervention may be effective to reduce psychiatric symptoms, enhance self‐esteem and lower the risk for developing psychiatric disorders.
Family‐centered care during adolescent detention aims to increase parental participation in an attempt to optimize treatment outcomes. However, little is known about parents’ needs in family‐centered care. To fill this gap, we interviewed 19 purposefully selected parents of detained adolescents using a semi‐structured topic list. Although needs differed between parents, they were generally interested in activities that included spending time with their child. It is important for parents to receive timely information about their child's condition and treatment, detention procedures, and activities in the facility. The outcomes demonstrated that parents expected a two‐way communication based on respect and reliability.
Psychological wellbeing of residential staff has substantial impact on the therapeutic milieu. These staff members are regularly confronted with aggression and other stressors, leading to low work satisfaction, burn-out and high staff turnover. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of Non-violent Resistance (NVR), a method for professionals to cope with aggressive behaviour of children and adolescents in residential care, with respect to work climate, living group climate, and aggression. NVR was implemented using a quasi-experimental stepped wedge design at three sites providing child and adolescent residential care in the Netherlands. Work and living group climate was assessed seven times, every three months. In addition, the average number of aggressive incidents before and after NVR implementation were described. A total of 519 work climate assessments by 186 staff members and 260 living group climate assessments by 124 children were collected. Multilevel analysis showed significant positive effects on the following elements of work climate: team functioning, satisfaction, task-significance, having a shared vision and on commitment at one of the three participating sites. Living group climate changed, but not in the expected direction. At two sites the living group climate was more repressive after NVR implementation. Aggressive episodes were low before and remained low after NVR implementation. These findings provide limited evidence that the implementation of NVR has a positive influence on work climate in residential settings. This study is a first step in investigating the relationship between NVR and improving work climate, living climate and aggression in the turbulent practice of residential youth care. The manner that NVR is implemented seems to have a substantial effect on the efficacy of NVR. Optimising the implementation along with assessing and improving readiness for change and more research on the possible influence of contextual factors is needed to fully evaluate the efficacy of NVR in residential setting.
This study assessed if staff members of two juvenile justice institutions in the Netherlands were able to motivate parents to participate in a programme of Family‐centred Care. For research purposes, parents were considered to participate if they (a) attended the family meeting, (b) visited their son during regular visiting hours, and (c) participated in measurements. Study participants were the parents of 139 short‐term detained male adolescents. The family meeting was attended by 47% of the parents, most adolescents (74.1%) were visited at least once by their parents, and 42% of the parents participated in measurements. Several factors influenced the parental participation rate variables, although effect sizes were small. The more parenting problems parents faced, the less likely they were to attend the family meeting. Parents with a job visited their son more often than unemployed parents. Finally, a longer stay of the adolescent and Dutch ethnicity predicted more parental participation in measurements. Our study showed that parental participation is feasible. However, the participation rates in the two years after the first steps of implementation were eligible for improvement. More implementation experience where staff could fully benefit from training and coaching in family‐centred work could substantially increase parental participation rates.
- May 2018
Veel etnische minderheidsgroepen hebben een groter risico op het ontwikkelen van een psychotische stoornis. Mogelijk ontstaat dit risico al in de kindertijd. In deze studie is de prevalentie van psychotische ervaringen (PE’n) met veel impact bij jeugdigen met en zonder een migratieachtergrond onderzocht. Ook is de mate van ervaren lijdensdruk (impact) in kaart gebracht en getoetst of eventuele verschillen verklaard konden worden door de culturele context. De onderzoeksgroep bestond uit 1.545 leerlingen op basisscholen en middelbare scholen in Nederland. Er konden voldoende grote groepen gevormd worden met jeugdigen met een Nederlandse (n = 702), Marokkaans-Nederlandse (n = 400) en Turks-Nederlandse (n = 170) achtergrond. Er werden zelfrapportagevragenlijsten over PE’n, impact en culturele context afgenomen. De prevalentie van PE’n met veel impact was 3,1 % bij Nederlandse, 9,5 % bij Marokkaans-Nederlandse (oddsratio (OR) = 3,0) en 7,1 % bij Turks-Nederlandse jeugdigen (OR = 2,2). Deze verschillen bleven bestaan wanneer de controlewaan, die ook culturele of religieuze overtuigingen zou kunnen weerspiegelen, niet werd meegenomen in de analyse en wanneer werd gecontroleerd voor een indicator voor culturele context. Bij alle etnische groepen waren PE’n met veel impact geassocieerd met andere psychiatrische symptomen en bekende risicofactoren voor psychotische stoornissen. Dit onderzoek wijst erop dat het verhoogde risico op psychotische stoornissen bij etnische minderheden in de volwassenheid mogelijk al in de kindertijd te herkennen is. Het aanvullend meten van impact lijkt waardevol te zijn om die jeugdigen te identificeren die een hoog risico lopen op de ontwikkeling van een psychotische of andere psychiatrische stoornis.
Background To provide successful treatment to detained adolescents, staff in juvenile justice institutions need to work in family-centered ways. As juvenile justice institutions struggled to involve parents in their child’s treatment, we developed a program for family-centered care. Methods The program was developed in close collaboration with staff from the two juvenile justice institutions participating in the Dutch Academic Workplace Forensic Care for Youth. To achieve an attainable program, we chose a bottom-up approach in which ideas for family-centered care were detailed and discussed by workgroups consisting of group leaders, family therapists, psychologists, other staff, researchers, and a parent. ResultsThe family-centered care program distinguishes four categories of parental participation: (a) informing parents, (b) parents meeting their child, (c) parents meeting staff, and (d) parents taking part in the treatment program. Additionally, the family-centered care program includes the option to start family therapy during detention of the youths, to be continued after discharge from the juvenile justice institutions. Training and coaching of staff are core components of the family-centered care program. Conclusions The combination of training and the identification of attainable ways for staff to promote parental involvement makes the family-centered care program valuable for practice. Because the program builds on suggestions from previous research and on the theoretical background of evidence-based family therapies, it has potential to improve care for detained adolescents and their parents. Further research is required to confirm if this assumption is correct.
Background The population in juvenile justice institutions is heterogeneous, as juveniles display a large variety of individual, psychological and social problems. This variety of risk factors and personal characteristics complicates treatment planning. Insight into subgroups and specific profiles of problems in serious juvenile offenders is helpful in identifying important treatment indicators for each subgroup of serious juvenile offenders. Methods To identify subgroups with combined offender characteristics, cluster-analyses were performed on data of 2010 adolescents from all juvenile justice institutions in the Netherlands. The study included a wide spectrum of static and dynamic offender characteristics and was a replication of a previous study, in order to replicate and validate the identified subgroups. To identify the subgroups that are most useful in clinical practice, different numbers of subgroup-solutions were presented to clinicians. Results Combining both good statistical fit and clinical relevance resulted in seven subgroups. Most subgroups resemble the subgroups found in the previous study and one extra subgroups was identified. Subgroups were named after their own identifying characteristics: (1) sexual problems, (2) antisocial identity and mental health problems, (3) lack of empathy and conscience, (4) flat profile, (5) family problems, (6) substance use problems, and (7) sexual, cognitive and social problems. Conclusions Subgroups of offenders as identified seem rather stable. Therefore risk factor scores can help to identify characteristics of serious juvenile offenders, which can be used in clinical practice to adjust treatment to the specific risk and needs of each subgroup. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s13034-017-0201-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
- Dec 2017
Severe behaviour problems (SBPs) in early childhood include oppositional and aggressive behaviours and predict negative mental health outcomes later in life. Although effective treatments for this group are available and numerous clinical practice guidelines have been developed to facilitate the incorporation of evidence-based treatments in clinical decision-making (NICE, 2013), many children with SBPs remain unresponsive to treatment (Lahey & Waldman, 2012). At present, it is unknown how many countries in Europe possess official clinical guidelines for SBPs diagnosis and treatment and what is their perceived utility. The aim was to create an inventory of clinical guidelines (and associated critical needs) for the diagnostics and treatment of SBPs in youth mental health across Europe according to academic experts and mental health clinicians’ opinions. To investigate the aim, two separate online semi-structured questionnaires were used, one directed at academics (N=28 academic experts; 23 countries), and the other at clinicians (N=124 clinicians; 24 countries). Three key results were highlighted. First, guidelines for SBPs are perceived as beneficial by both experts and clinicians. However, their implementation needs to be reinforced and content better adapted to daily practice. Improvements may include taking a multifactorial approach to assessment and treatment, involving the systems around the child, and multidisciplinary collaboration. Second, academic experts and clinicians support the need for further developing national / European guidelines. Finally, future guidelines should address current challenges identified by clinicians to be more applicable to daily practice.
Deze publicatie gaat over tien jaar JeugdzorgPlus: 2008-2017. Over jongeren met zeer complexe gedragsproblemen die zich aan hulp onttrekken of daaraan onttrokken worden. En over de manier waarop zij het beste geholpen kunnen worden. De jongeren om wie het gaat, zijn vaak geen ‘lieverdjes’; ze worstelen met veel negatieve invloeden uit hun omgeving. Daarom kunnen vrijheidsbeperkende maatregelen nodig zijn als onderdeel van de behandeling, maar alleen als er gevaar is en er geen alternatieven zijn. JeugdzorgPlus staat niet op zichzelf. Effectieve zorg gaat namelijk niet alleen over residentiële behandeling, maar ook over de periode daarvoor en daarna. Besluiten over deze jongeren en over JeugdzorgPlus mogen niet lichtzinnig worden genomen. Hulp aan hen is topsport. Kennis over deze jongeren is daarom belangrijk voor iedereen die met hen te maken heeft: van jeugd-/wijkteams, jeugdbeschermers en pedagogisch medewerkers tot studenten, gemeentelijk beslissers en kinderrechters.
Staff members in residential care for youth are frequently confronted with aggressive behaviour, which has adverse effects on their stress levels and work satisfaction. This paper describes a qualitative evaluation to find out how staff members benefit from Non-violent Resistance (NVR), a method to create an aggression mitigating residential climate. Staff members were positive about NVR and reported feeling more relaxed. Most valued aspects of this method were the focus on being a team, delayed response and giving up the illusion of control. However, training and the intention to use NVR isn't enough, high quality implementation and maintenance are crucial.
This study examines the external validity of a nationwide dataset, considering the fact that clients can refuse the extraction of their clinical information to aggregate datasets. Data of 949 youths (56% boys, mean age 15.6 years, SD = 1.49) from six Dutch residential institutions were included. An individual-variables and a person-oriented approach were applied to examine the extent to which the group giving permission to the use of their data for aggregate purposes (66%) is representative for the total population in secure residential youth care. Both static, non-changeable client information as well as dynamic, changeable client information were gathered. Youths who assented to the use of their information were overrepresented amongst the population of some of the participating institutions, and were more often Caucasian. Three start profiles based on the dynamic variables were distinguished. Youths who assent were overrepresented in the most problematic profile, whereas youth who did not assent were overrepresented in the least problematic profile. To improve the external validity and the value of the monitor, it is important to achieve more uniformity between institutions as far as the procedures are concerned, and to find creative ways to increase the assent levels, particularly among ethnic minorities.
- Oct 2017
Social exclusion is related to many adverse mental health outcomes and may be particularly harmful for mental health in adolescence when peer relations become very important. This study examined associations between low peer status and psychotic experiences, psychosocial problems and short-term courses of these symptoms. A school-based sample of adolescents (N = 1171) was investigated in 2 consecutive years using the 16-item Prodromal Questionnaire and the self-report and teacher-report version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Peer status was measured in the second year with positive and negative peer nominations of classmates. Low peer status was, after adjusting for gender, ethnic minority status and level of education, associated with more psychosocial difficulties with a persistent course and a higher level of psychotic experiences. Of all peer status groups, being neglected had the strongest associations with mental health problems. The results of this study show that social exclusion in adolescence is related to psychotic experiences and psychosocial problems, emphasizing the importance of belonging to a social group. Customized prevention programs at individual, family and school level should target causes and consequences of social exclusion.
- Jan 2017
Background: Multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) is a well-established treatment for adolescents showing both substance abuse and/or antisocial behavior. Method: The effectiveness of MDFT in reducing adolescents' substance abuse, delinquency, externalizing and internalizing psychopathology, and family malfunctioning was examined by means of a (three-level) meta-analysis, summarizing 61 effect sizes from 19 manuscripts (N = 1,488 participants). Results: Compared with other therapies, the overall effect size of MDFT was significant, albeit small in magnitude (d = 0.24, p < .001), and similar across intervention outcome categories. Moderator analysis revealed that adolescents with high severity problems, including severe substance abuse and disruptive behavior disorder, benefited more from MDFT than adolescents with less severe conditions. Conclusions: It can be concluded that MDFT is effective for adolescents with substance abuse, delinquency, and comorbid behavior problems. Subsequently, it is important to match specific characteristics of the adolescents, such as extent of impairment, with MDFT.
- Oct 2016
Not only are childhood onset offenders at high risk of becoming serious persistent offenders, they are also at high risk of becoming victimized themselves. Furthermore, studies in the general population suggest that a combined perpetrator–victim group can be distinguished from a perpetrator- only and a victim-only group on individual and family risk factors. The current study investigated the co-occurrence of offending and victimization among first-time arrestees and the 2-year predictive value of previously found clusters of dynamic risk factors of offending. Childhood first-time arrestees (N = 308; Mage = 10.3, SD = 1.45) were clustered into three groups based on dynamic risk factors of offending in the individual, peer, school, and family domains: a pervasive high, an externalizing intermediate, and a low problem group. Police records and self-report data on re-offending and victimization of these children were collected over a 2-year follow-up period. Compared with the low problem group, the prevalence of re-offending was higher in both the externalizing intermediate group and the pervasive high group. The pervasive high group was most likely to display co-occurring future antisocial behavior and victimization. These findings emphasize that attention should be paid to victimization in addition to future antisocial behavior, especially if additional internalizing and family problems are present. Furthermore, the differences in re-offending and victimization between subgroups of childhood onset offenders stress the need for specific interventions tailored to the risk profile of a child.
Adolescents in forensic care display wide varieties of complex psychiatric, psychological, and contextual problems. Based on large amounts of information, clinicians need to consider, integrate, and prioritize these offender characteristics to construct individual treatment trajectories. So far, scientific knowledge on how these treatment decisions take place is scarce. Current study uses a qualitative design for detecting implicit knowledge of clinicians on which offender characteristics they consider while making treatment decisions. Using the Delphi method, 34 experienced clinicians working in forensic care facilities in the Netherlands were asked about the most important domains of offender characteristics that influence their treatment planning. Eight domains were identified as being crucial in treatment planning: Mental health problems, Personal characteristics, Family, Offense, Motivation, Treatment, School/Work/Housing, and Peers/Spare time. Based on current results, focus on a broad spectrum of individual and contextual characteristics is recommended. Moreover, protective factors and comorbid problems on multiple domains should be considered.
- Feb 2016
While ethnic diversity is increasing in many countries, ethnic minority youth is less likely to be reached, effectively treated and retained by youth mental health care compared to majority youth. Improving understanding of factors associated with mental health problems within socially disadvantaged ethnic minority youth is important to tailor current preventive and treatment interventions to the needs of these youth. The aim of this study was to explore factors at child, family, school, peer, neighbourhood and ethnic minority group level associated with mental health problems in Moroccan-Dutch youth (n = 152, mean age 13.6 ± 1.9 years). Self-reported and teacher-reported questionnaire data on psychiatric symptoms and self-report interview data on psychiatric disorders were used to divide children into three levels of mental health problems: no symptoms, only psychiatric symptoms and psychiatric disorders. Psychiatric symptoms and/or disorders were associated with more psychopathic traits, a higher number of experienced trauma and children in the family, and more conflicts with parents, affiliation with delinquent peers, perceived discrimination and cultural mistrust. Psychiatric symptoms and/or disorders were also associated with less self-esteem, parental monitoring, affiliation with religion and orientation to Dutch or Moroccan culture, and a weaker ethnic identity. For youth growing up in a disadvantaged ethnic minority position, the most important factors were found at family (parent-child relationship and parenting practices) and ethnic minority group level (marginalization, discrimination and cultural mistrust). Preventive and treatment interventions for socially disadvantaged ethnic minority youth should be aimed at dealing with social disadvantage and discrimination, improving the parent-child relationship and parenting practices, and developing a positive (cultural) identity.
Background While ethnic diversity is increasing in many Western countries, access to youth mental health care is generally lower among ethnic minority youth compared to majority youth. It is unlikely that this is explained by a lower prevalence of psychiatric disorders in minority children. Effective screening methods to detect psychiatric disorders in ethnic minority youth are important to offer timely interventions. Methods School-based screening was carried out at primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) self report and teacher report. Additionally, internalizing and psychotic symptoms were assessed with the depressive, somatic and anxiety symptoms scales of the Social and Health Assessment (SAHA) and items derived from the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS). Of 361 Moroccan-Dutch youths (ages 9 to 16 years) with complete screening data, 152 children were diagnostically assessed for psychiatric disorders using the K-SADS. The ability to screen for any psychiatric disorder, and specific externalizing or internalizing disorders was estimated for the SDQ, as well as for the SAHA and K-SADS scales. Results Twenty cases with a psychiatric disorder were identified (13.2 %), thirteen of which with externalizing (8.6 %) and seven with internalizing (4.6 %) diagnoses. The SDQ predicted psychiatric disorders in Moroccan-Dutch youth with a good degree of accuracy, especially when the self report and teacher report were combined (AUC = 0.86, 95 % CI = 0.77-0.94). The SAHA scales improved identification of internalizing disorders. Psychotic experiences significantly predicted psychiatric disorders, but did not have additional discriminatory power as compared to screening instruments measuring non-psychotic psychiatric symptoms. Conclusions School-based screening for psychiatric disorders is effective in Moroccan-Dutch youth. We suggest routine screening with the SDQ self report and teacher report at schools, supplemented by the SAHA measuring internalizing symptoms, and offering accessible non-stigmatizing interventions at school to children scoring high on screening questionnaires. Further research should estimate (subgroup-specific) norms and optimal cut-offs points in larger groups for use in school-based screening methods.
Background: The risk for psychotic disorders is increased for many ethnic minority groups and may develop in early childhood. This study investigated whether the prevalence of psychotic experiences (PE) with high impact is higher among ethnic minority youth compared to majority youth and examined the significance of these PE. Method: A school-based study assessed a large community sample of 1545 ethnic minority and majority children in The Netherlands (mean age 12.98 ± 1.81 years). The Dutch (n = 702, 45.4%), Moroccan-Dutch (n = 400, 25.9%) and Turkish-Dutch (n = 170, 11.0%) ethnic groups could be studied separately. Self-report questionnaires on PE, impact and cultural context were administered. Results: Prevalence of PE with high impact was 3.1% in Dutch, 9.5% in Moroccan-Dutch and 7.1% in Turkish-Dutch youth. Compared to Dutch youth, odds ratios were 3.0 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7-5.1] for Moroccan-Dutch youth and 2.2 (95% CI 1.1-4.6) for Turkish-Dutch youth. Differences were not explained by cultural or religious differences. Conclusions: The increased risk for psychotic disorders in ethnic minorities may already be detectable in childhood, since PE with high impact were more common among ethnic minority youth compared to majority youth. The additional measurement of impact of PE appears to be a valid approach to identify those children at risk to develop psychotic or other more common psychiatric disorders.
To investigate to what extent differences in prevalence and types of mental health problems between ethnic minority and majority youth can be explained by social disadvantage. Mental health problems were assessed in a sample of 1,278 schoolchildren (55 % Dutch, 32 % Moroccan and 13 % Turkish; mean age: 12.9 ± 1.8) using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire self-report and teacher report. Measures of family socioeconomic status, neighbourhood deprivation, perceived discrimination, family structure, repeating a school year, housing stability and neighbourhood urbanization were used as indicators of social disadvantage, based on which a cumulative index was created. Ethnic minority youth had more externalizing and fewer internalizing problems than majority youth. Perceived discrimination and living in an unstable social environment were associated with mental health problems, independent of ethnicity. A dose-response relationship was found between social disadvantage and mental health problems. The adjusted odds ratio for mental health problems was 4.16 (95 % CI 2.49-6.94) for more than four compared with zero indicators of social disadvantage. Social disadvantage was more common in ethnic minority than in majority youth, explaining part of the differences in prevalence of mental health problems. Ethnic minority youth in the Netherlands have a different profile of mental health problems than majority youth. In all ethnic groups, the risk of mental health problems increases with the degree of social disadvantage. The higher prevalence of externalizing problems among ethnic minority youth is explained partly by their disadvantaged social position. The findings suggest that social factors associated with ethnicity are likely to explain mental health problems in ethnic groups.
- Apr 2014
This longitudinal study explores differences between native Dutch and immigrant Moroccan adolescents in the relationship between internalizing and externalizing problems across time. By using generalized estimating equations (GEE), the strength and stability of associations between internalizing and externalizing problems in 159 Moroccan and 159 Dutch adolescents was studied over a period of 4 years. No differences in strength of co-occurring problems were found between Moroccan and Dutch adolescents. However, for Moroccan adolescents, associations between problems increased over time, whereas in Dutch adolescents, associations remained stable. The increase of co-occurring problems may be a result of undertreatment and increasing complexity of problems in Moroccans during adolescence. The results of this study imply that investigating processes leading to co-occurring problems in subgroups of adolescents, such as immigrant youths, is needed to optimize prevention and intervention efforts.
- Nov 2013
The presence of clusters characterized by distinct profiles of individual, family and peer characteristics among childhood arrestees was investigated and cluster membership stability after 2 years was determined. Identification of such clusters in this heterogeneous at-risk group can extend insight into the presence and severity of children's co-occurring problems and guide intervention and prevention efforts. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to detect clusters among 308 childhood arrestees (mean age 10.7 years), based on dichotomous dynamic correlates of offending present at the time of first arrest. Correlates in the individual, peer and family domains were assessed at baseline and 2-year follow-up, using standardized instruments. This resulted in identification of a low problem group characterized by few problems across all domains (40.2 %), an externalizing intermediate problem group characterized by mainly externalizing problems on the individual and peer domains (39.4 %), and a pervasive high problem group characterized by numerous problems across all domains (20.4 %). Cluster membership was most stable for the low problem group (71.4 %), followed by the externalizing intermediate problem group (49.5 %). Transition was highest in the pervasive high problem group (63.0 %), with the majority of children progressing to the externalizing intermediate problem group. The identification of such distinct clusters among childhood arrestees, differing in the presence of co-occurring problems, stresses the importance of a first police arrest as an opportunity for early recognition of children in need of care. As problems present at the time of first arrest do not persist in every child, careful periodic monitoring is needed.
Children diagnosed with Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBD), especially those with psychopathic traits, are at risk of developing persistent and severe antisocial behavior. Deficient fear conditioning may be a key mechanism underlying persistence, and has been associated with altered regional brain function in adult antisocial populations. In this study, we investigated the associations between the neural correlates of fear conditioning, persistence of childhood-onset DBD during adolescence and psychopathic traits. From a cohort of children arrested before the age of 12 years, participants who were diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder in previous waves (mean age of onset 6.5 years, s.d. 3.2) were reassessed at mean age 17.6 years (s.d. 1.4) and categorized as persistent (n=25) or desistent (n=25) DBD. Using the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory and functional magnetic resonance imaging during a fear conditioning task, these subgroups were compared with 26 matched healthy controls from the same cohort. Both persistent and desistent DBD subgroups were found to show higher activation in fear processing-related brain areas during fear conditioning compared with healthy controls. In addition, regression analyses revealed that impulsive-irresponsible and grandiose-manipulative psychopathic traits were associated with higher activation, whereas callous-unemotional psychopathic traits were related to lower activation in fear-related areas. Finally, the association between neural activation and DBD subgroup membership was mediated by impulsive-irresponsible psychopathic traits. These results provide evidence for heterogeneity in the neurobiological mechanisms underlying psychopathic traits and antisocial behavior and, as such, underscore the need to develop personalized interventions.
- Feb 2013
This study examines differences in self-reported mental health problems between detained youths from Dutch, Moroccan, and Surinamese origin and the usefulness of mental health problems to predict violent and property recidivism in these juveniles. A sample of 296 detained boys aged between 12 and 18 years were assessed by means of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Official information regarding criminal history and recidivism was collected 3-6 years later. In general, Dutch youths and Surinamese youths reported more conduct problems than Moroccan youths, while Dutch youths also reported more hyperactivity than Surinamese youths. Mental health problems were not predictive of violent recidivism in any of the ethnic groups, while being related with property recidivism in Dutch and Surinamese youths. The current study showed that Moroccan youths present themselves on the SDQ as a less seriously disturbed group of youths than their Dutch and Surinamese counterparts. Our results also clearly showed that SDQ self-report scores are not predictive of future violent crimes in any of the three ethnic groups. Implications of the findings and limitations of the current study are discussed.
This study aims to investigate the predictive validity of externalizing psychopathology for persistence in delinquent behavior when controlling for socio-demographic and first arrest characteristics in childhood first-time arrestees. A sample of first-time arrestees aged under 12 (n = 192) was assessed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC-IV) parent-version on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). Based on child and parent reports of offending as obtained at arrest and at 2-year follow-up, three groups of offenders were differentiated: (1) persistent high (n = 48), (2) occasional (n = 62), and (3) persistent low offenders (n = 82). Over one-third of the sample (33.9%) was diagnosed with an externalizing disorder, and 13.5% with both ADHD and ODD or CD. Higher levels of externalizing psychopathology distinguished persistent high offenders from occasional (comorbid ADHD and ODD/CD: OR 8.2, CI 2.6-25.5) and persistent low offenders (comorbid ADHD and ODD/CD: OR 18.2, CI 4.6-72.3; ADHD: OR 4.1, CI 1.3-13.0), over and above socio-demographic and first offense characteristics. Living with both biological parents distinguished the persistent low offenders from the occasional offenders (OR 2.5, CI 1.2-5.0). Since the prevalence of externalizing disorders was high and predicted re-offending, mental health screening and intervention initiatives, aiming at these conditions, should be investigated for this high-risk sample.
ABSTRACT: Childhood offenders are at an increased risk for developing mental health, social and educational problems later in life. An early onset of offending is a strong predictor for future persistent offending. Childhood offenders from ethnic minority groups are a vulnerable at-risk group. However, up until now, no studies have focused on them. To investigate which risk factors are associated with (re-)offending of childhood offenders from an ethnic minority. Dutch-Moroccan boys, who were registered by the police in the year 2006-2007, and their parents as well as a control group (n = 40) were interviewed regarding their individual and family characteristics. Two years later a follow-up analysis of police data was conducted to identify one-time offenders (n = 65) and re-offenders (n = 35). All groups, including the controls, showed substantial problems. Single parenthood (OR 6.0) and financial problems (OR 3.9) distinguished one-time offenders from controls. Reading problems (OR 3.8), having an older brother (OR 5.5) and a parent having Dutch friends (OR 4.3) distinguished re-offenders from one-time offenders. First offence characteristics were not predictive for re-offending. The control group reported high levels of emotional problems (33.3%). Parents reported not needing help for their children but half of the re-offender's families were known to the Child Welfare Agency, mostly in a juridical framework. The Moroccan subgroup of childhood offenders has substantial problems that might hamper healthy development. Interventions should focus on reaching these families tailored to their needs and expectations using a multi-system approach.
- Sep 2011
To compare childhood arrestees with matched comparison groups on levels of autistic symptoms and to assess the unique predictive value of autistic symptoms for future delinquent behavior in childhood arrestees. Childhood first-time arrestees (n = 308, baseline age 10.7 ± 1.5 years) were followed up for 2 years. Autistic symptoms, externalizing disorders and delinquent behavior were assessed yearly. Childhood arrestees were compared on autistic symptoms with matched (age, gender) general population and clinical autism spectrum disorder samples. The predictive value of autistic symptoms for delinquent behavior was analyzed using generalized estimating equations. At each assessment, levels of autistic symptoms in childhood arrestees were in between levels found in the general population and autism spectrum disorder samples. Autistic symptoms were positively associated with delinquent behavior in childhood arrestees, even after adjustment for externalizing disorders: IRR (incidence rate ratio) 1.23; 95% CI 1.11-1.36 and IRR 1.29; 95% CI 1.15-1.45 for core autistic symptoms and total symptom score, respectively. Autistic symptoms are more prevalent in childhood arrestees compared to the general population and are uniquely associated with future delinquent behavior. Attention should, therefore, be given to the possible presence of autism related symptomatology in these children. Implications for diagnostic assessment and intervention need further investigation.
This study aims to identify risk factors for level of offending among childhood offenders from different socio-economic status (SES) neighborhoods and ethnic origins. Three groups of childhood first time police arrestees were studied using standardized instruments for individual and parental characteristics: native Dutch offenders from moderate to high SES neighborhoods, native Dutch offenders from low SES neighborhoods, and offenders of non-Western origin from low SES neighborhoods. All subgroups showed high rates of externalizing disorders (27.2% to 41.8%) and familial difficulties (25.7% to 50.5%). Few differences between neighborhoods were found in the prevalence and impact of risk factors. However, the impact of some family risk factors on offending seemed stronger in the low SES groups. Regarding ethnical differences, family risk factors were more prevalent among non-Western childhood offenders. However, the association of these factors with level of offending seemed lower in the non-Western low SES group, while the association of some individual risk factors were stronger in the non-Western low SES group. Turning to the independent correlation of risk factors within each of the groups, in the Dutch moderate to high SES group, 23.1% of the variance in level of offending was explained by ADHD and behavioral problems; in the Dutch low SES group, 29.0% of the variance was explained by behavioral problems and proactive aggression; and in the non-Western low SES group, 41.2% of the variance was explained by substance use, sensation seeking, behavioral peer problems, and parental mental health problems. Thereby, the study indicates few neighborhood differences in the impact of individual and parental risk factors on offending, while individual and parental risk factors may differ between ethnic groups.
In dit artikel wordt het nieuwe Landelijke Instrumentarium Jeugdstrafrechtketen (LIJ) beschreven. Het LIJ is ontwikkeld voor jongeren die met de verschillende partijen in de jeugdstrafrechtketen te maken krijgen, waaronder de politie, Halt, de Raad voor de Kinderbescherming, de Jeugdreclassering en de Justitiële Jeugdinrichtingen. Met het instrumentarium wordt een verbetering beoogd van het inschatten van psychosociale en recidiverisico’s en het indiceren van de juiste interventies. Trefwoordenrisicotaxatie–screening–indiceren van interventies–jeugdstrafrechtketen
Childhood predictors of adolescent offending careers were studied in 310 boys from the longitudinal Pittsburgh Youth Study who started offending prior to age 12. Three main groups were distinguished: serious persisters (n = 95), moderately serious persisters (n = 117), desisters (n = 63), and an intermittent group (n = 35). Group membership was predicted using risk and promotive factors measured in childhood. Serious and moderately serious persisters could be distinguished well from desisters (29.2% and 32.3% explained variance). Distinction between the two persister groups proved somewhat more difficult (20.9% explained variance). More serious persisters than desisters showed disruptive behavior, while moderately serious persisters fell in between. Further, more moderately serious persisters were marked by social disadvantage. Family involvement, small family and positive peer relationships were promotive of desistance. Concluding, early onset offenders show considerable heterogeneity in their adolescent offending careers which seem to some extent to be predicted by different sets of risk and promotive factors.
Heterogeneity of re-offending patterns was studied in a group of 287 male early onset offenders who were first arrested before age 12. By combining data on the frequency and severity of offending as registered by the police over a 5-year follow-up period, three delinquent trajectories were identified; low, escalating, and high level re-offenders. Predicting group membership by individual and environmental characteristics known to the police at the time of the first arrest proved difficult. Compared to low level re-offenders, escalators were older and more often came from disadvantaged neighborhoods. High level re-offenders were also older at onset, more often had a non-Western ethnic background, and initially committed more vandalism. Furthermore, at the first police encounter, the police reacted more severely towards those who later became high level re-offenders. Finally, high and escalating re-offenders more often had other adverse outcomes, such as criminal victimization and Child Welfare Agency involvement.