Enhancing Positive outcomes in Youth Offenders and the Community

Goal: The EPYC aims to examine the trajectories and outcomes of youth offenders as well as their transition across various life stages subsequently.


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Project log

Chi Meng Chu
added 3 research items
Introduction: An emerging trend in child maltreatment research focuses on identifying protective assets that contribute to youth resilience. Extending the trend, this study examines not just whether but also how protective assets in various domains (e.g., the individual, family, and schools) are associated with internalising and externalising problems among youth offenders, which is a population that typically reports a high prevalence of child maltreatment experiences. Methods: This study used the baseline data of 790 youth offenders (85% male) aged between 12 and 19 years old from the EPYC project, a national longitudinal study in Singapore. Structural equation modelling was conducted to test the direct effects and interactive effects of protective assets and child maltreatment on internalising and externalising problems. Results: For direct effects, maltreated youth offenders reported higher levels of internalising and externalising problems than their non-maltreated counterparts. Higher levels of peer assets were directly related to lower levels of externalising, but not internalising problems. For interactive effects, overall protective assets, school/work assets and internal assets had significant buffering effects against physical/emotional abuse on externalising problems, whereas peer assets showed significant buffering effects against sexual abuse on internalising problems. Conclusion: An overall level of protective assets, as well as assets from specific domains (peer, school/work, and internal assets) could provide protective effects on problematic behaviours among youth offenders. Interventions seeking to address youth internalising and externalising problems should focus on reducing child maltreatment incidence and enhancing protective assets within these domains.
Background Adverse Childhood Experiences are associated with worse outcomes in delinquency and substance use. Objective Current research is overwhelmingly from Western perspectives, leaving a gap in non-Western, low crime-rate jurisdictions. Moreover, there exists a gap in characterizing the effect of ACE frequency on delinquency. We extend existing research by examining relationships between ACE and substance use in youth offenders in Singapore. Participants and setting The study included 790 youth offenders (669 males, Mage = 17.59 years) from a longitudinal study on youth offending. Methods Multiple regression was performed to examine relationships between self-reported ACEs and substance use. Latent Class Analysis was conducted to identify classes of substance use onset. The relationship between these classes and cumulative ACEs and ACE frequency were then tested using multiple regression. Results Youth offenders who consume alcohol (B = 0.66, p = .002) and illicit drugs (B = 0.38, p = .02) had more cumulative and more frequent ACEs than those who do not. Moreover, we found a positive relationship between ACEs and substance use frequency. Those who started taking substances in childhood had significantly more ACEs and had worse drug dependency problems than those who started later (t = 5.93, p < .0001). Additionally, there was a positive relationship between ACEs and drug use dependency (B = 0.11, p = .03). Conclusions Our findings highlight the importance of ACEs as risk factors for substance use. This underscores the need for comprehensive screening and treatment of ACEs and substance use in the rehabilitative context.
Chi Meng Chu
added an update
Finishing face-to-face data collection for Cohort 3 Wave 1; we now have 3 waves for Cohort 1 and 2 waves for Cohort 2. Preliminary findings were presented at Yellow Ribbon Conference 2018, Singapore.
Chi Meng Chu
added an update
Project goal
The Enhancing Positive outcomes in Youth offenders and the Community (EPYC) study aims to examine the trajectories and outcomes of youth offenders as well as their transition across various life stages subsequently.
Background and motivation
The EPYC project is a 10-wave longitudinal study on youth offenders in Singapore. At the heart of this project is the notion that prevention of future criminal behaviours and the successful reintegration of these youth offenders into the community are paramount. Three full cohorts of youth offenders (N = ~1,500 to 2,500) will be invited to participate in the research. Face-to-face interviews will be conducted with the youth (and their parents). Questionnaires and other psychometric measures will also be administered. In addition, administrative data linkage will be conducted. Administrative data from a nonoffending sample will be used for comparative analyses.
Dongdong Li
added a project goal
A 10-wave longitudinal study on youth offenders