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Up to 90% of justice-involved youth report exposure to some type of traumatic event. On average, 70% of youth meet criteria for a mental health disorder with approximately 30% of youth meeting criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Justice-involved youth are also at risk for substance use and academic problems, and child welfare involvement. Yet, less is known about the details of their trauma histories, and associations among trauma details, mental health problems, and associated risk factors. This study describes detailed trauma histories, mental health problems, and associated risk factors (i.e., academic problems, substance/alcohol use, and concurrent child welfare involvement) among adolescents with recent involvement in the juvenile justice system. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network Core Data Set (NCTSN-CDS) is used to address these aims, among which 658 adolescents report recent involvement in the juvenile justice system as indexed by being detained or under community supervision by the juvenile court. Age of onset of trauma exposure was within the first 5 years of life for 62% of youth and approximately one-third of youth report exposure to multiple or co-occurring trauma types each year into adolescence. Mental health problems are prevalent with 23.6% of youth meeting criteria for PTSD, 66.1% in the clinical range for externalizing problems, and 45.5% in the clinical range for internalizing problems. Early age of onset of trauma exposure was differentially associated with mental health problems and related risk factors among males and females. The results indicate that justice-involved youth report high rates of trauma exposure and that this trauma typically begins early in life, is often in multiple contexts, and persists over time. Findings provide support for establishing trauma-informed juvenile justice systems that can respond to the needs of traumatized youth.
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Trauma histories among justice-involved youth: findings
from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Carly B. Dierkhising
1
*, Susan J. Ko
1
, Briana Woods-Jaeger
2
,
Ernestine C. Briggs
2
, Robert Lee
2
and Robert S. Pynoos
1
1
National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA;
2
National
Center for Child Traumatic Stress, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA
Background: Up to 90% of justice-involved youth report exposure to some type of traumatic event. On
average, 70% of youth meet criteria for a mental health disorder with approximately 30% of youth meeting
criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Justice-involved youth are also at risk for substance use
and academic problems, and child welfare involvement. Yet, less is known about the details of their trauma
histories, and associations among trauma details, mental health problems, and associated risk factors.
Objective: This study describes detailed trauma histories, mental health problems, and associated risk factors
(i.e., academic problems, substance/alcohol use, and concurrent child welfare involvement) among adolescents
with recent involvement in the juvenile justice system.
Method: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network Core Data Set (NCTSN-CDS) is used to address
these aims, among which 658 adolescents report recent involvement in the juvenile justice system as indexed
by being detained or under community supervision by the juvenile court.
Results: Age of onset of trauma exposure was within the first 5 years of life for 62% of youth and
approximately one-third of youth report exposure to multiple or co-occurring trauma types each year into
adolescence. Mental health problems are prevalent with 23.6% of youth meeting criteria for PTSD, 66.1% in
the clinical range for externalizing problems, and 45.5% in the clinical range for internalizing problems. Early
age of onset of trauma exposure was differentially associated with mental health problems and related risk
factors among males and females.
Conclusions: The results indicate that justice-involved youth report high rates of trauma exposure and that
this trauma typically begins early in life, is often in multiple contexts, and persists over time. Findings provide
support for establishing trauma-informed juvenile justice systems that can respond to the needs of
traumatized youth.
Keywords: Juvenile justice; trauma; post-traumatic stress; delinquency; mental health; age of onset; adolescent; NCTSN
*Correspondence to: Carly B. Dierkhising, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA/
Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, University of California, Los Angeles 11150
West Olympic Boulevard Suite 650, Los Angeles CA 90064, USA, Email: cdierkhising@mednet.ucla.edu
Received: 20 December 2012; Revised: 20 May 2013; Accepted: 14 June 2013; Published: 16 July 2013
Y
outh involved in the juvenile justice system
report higher rates of trauma exposure, post-
traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other
mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety) com-
pared to the general population (Schufelt & Cocozza,
2006; Wolpaw & Ford, 2004; Wood, Foy, Layne, Pynoos,
& James, 2002). Justice-involved youth also tend to
experience multiple types of trauma, or polyvictimi-
zation, before they reach the juvenile justice system
(Abram et al., 2004). Yet, less is known about the details
of their trauma histories such as prevalence rates of a
broad range of trauma types, rates of co-occurring
trauma across childhood, and the age of onset of trauma
exposure.
Trauma exposure and PTSD among justice-
involved youth
The relation between trauma exposure and juvenile
justice involvement has been consistently documented
(Chamberlain & Moore, 2002; Ford, Chapman, Hawke,
& Alpert, 2007; Kerig & Becker, 2010; Widom &
Maxfield, 1996). Youth who report child maltreatment,
æ
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CommonsAttribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), permitting all non-commercial use, distribution,
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Citation: European Journal of Psychotraumatology 2013, 4: 20274 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v4i0.20274
1
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both through official case records or self-reports, are
found to be at higher risk for delinquent or criminal
involvement in both adolescence and adulthood (Smith &
Thornberry, 1995; Widom & Maxfield, 1996). In addi-
tion, more severe forms of maltreatment (i.e., chronic or
frequent maltreatment) have been found to be associated
with more severe and chronic delinquent behavior and
the relation between child maltreatment and justice
involvement holds across gender and ethnicity (Smith &
Thornberry, 1995; Widom & Maxfield, 1996). Other
forms of trauma exposure, beyond child maltreatment,
have also been linked to delinquency and justice involve-
ment, such as community violence, domestic violence,
and traumatic loss (Foy, Ritchie, & Conway, 2012; Kerig,
Ward, Vanderzee, & Moeddel, 2009; Wood et al., 2002).
Prevalence rates of trauma exposure among youth
involved in the juvenile justice system highlight this robust
relation. One study found 92% of justice-involved youth
reported exposure to at least one type of trauma, and that
exposure to multiple traumas was the norm (Abram et al.,
2004). Females tend to report higher rates of interpersonal
victimization, particularly sexual assault, while males
report higher rates of witnessing violence (Cauffman,
Feldman, Waterman, & Steiner, 1998; Ford et al., 2007;
Foy et al., 2012). For instance, 29% of incarcerated
females compared to 3% of their incarcerated male
counterparts reported being raped or molested (Wood
et al., 2002), and 48% of incarcerated males compared to
17% of incarcerated females reported witnessing some
type of violent act (Cauffman et al., 1998).
In light of the high rates of trauma exposure among
justice-involved youth, many prevalence studies have
focused specifically on the development of PTSD among
this population. Rates of PTSD tend to vary between 3
and 50% among incarcerated youth (Ford et al., 2007)
with a 30% prevalence rate on average. For example,
a study comparing 96 females and 93 males incarcerated
in the California Youth Authority found that nearly
half of the females (49%) met the criteria for PTSD
compared to about one-third (32%) of males (Cauffman
et al., 1998). Another study of randomly selected youth
(N898) in a pre-trial detention center in Cook County,
Illinois found about 11% of males and 15% of females
met the criteria for PTSD (Abram et al., 2004). The
discrepancies among prevalence rates are attributed to
regional differences among study participants, the use
of varying assessment instruments, and the time at which
the assessment occurs during juvenile justice processing
(Wolpaw & Ford, 2004).
While trauma exposure and PTSD are common among
justice-involved youth, it is not yet clear what the
mechanisms of influence are between trauma and delin-
quency (Ardino, 2012; Kerig, 2012a). The few studies
that have begun to illuminate this process focus
on emotional and cognitive processes as mediating
mechanisms (Allwood, Baetz, DeMarco, & Bell, 2012;
Allwood & Bell, 2008; Kerig & Becker, 2010). For
instance, post-traumatic stress symptoms and cognitions
supportive of violence have been found to mediate the
relation between violence exposure (i.e., family and
community violence exposure) and self-reported delin-
quency among a community sample of adolescents (All-
wood & Bell, 2008). Post-traumatic stress symptoms have
also been found to mediate the relation between violence
exposure and additional mental health problems among
an incarcerated sample of adolescents (Kerig & Becker,
2012). Importantly, gender differences are consistently
found when delineating the relation between trauma and
delinquency indicating varying trajectories from trauma
to delinquency for males and females (Kerig & Becker,
2012).
An understudied aspect in the developmental trajec-
tory of trauma and delinquency is the age of onset of
trauma in this population. This is surprising given the
extensive literature on the age of onset of delinquent
behavior; one of the most robust predictors of chronic
and persistent delinquency (Natsuaki, Ge, & Wenk, 2008;
Sampson & Laub, 1993). This literature indicates that the
experience of risk factors (e.g., parenting problems,
conduct problems, academic failure, peer rejection) early
in life is associated with more chronic delinquency and
that children who begin their delinquent careers in
childhood, rather than later in adolescence, become the
most consistent and chronic offenders (Moffitt, 1993;
Patterson, DeBaryshe, & Ramsey, 1989). Given the
importance of timing in the development of delinquent
behaviors, it follows that timing of trauma may also be
related to adverse outcomes. The timing of a traumatic
experience is also important given that youth who
experience trauma early in life are more likely to ex-
perience other types of trauma later in life (Finkelhor,
Ormrod, & Turner, 2007) and the experience of multiple
trauma types is associated with increased post-traumatic
stress reactions, difficulties in emotion regulation, and
internalizing problems (Finkelhor, Turner, Hamby, &
Ormrod, 2011). However, these associations have not
been explored among justice-involved samples. Expand-
ing our knowledge regarding the age of onset of trauma
exposure can enhance our understanding of the develop-
mental implications of trauma exposure and justice
involvement.
Mental health and associated risk factors
among justice-involved youth
Justice-involved youth often experience additional ad-
versity and mental health problems, beyond trauma
exposure and PTSD, either preceding or concurrent
with justice involvement. In a nationally representative
study, approximately 70% of justice-involved youth
met criteria for at least one mental health disorder,
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Citation: European Journal of Psychotraumatology 2013, 4: 20274 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v4i0.20274
and among those youth 79% met criteria for two or
more diagnoses (Schufelt & Cocozza, 2006). The most
common disorders include disruptive disorders, sub-
stance use disorders, anxiety disorders, and mood
disorders. PTSD and other mental health problems
tend to co-occur among highly traumatized samples as
well. For instance, in the National Survey of Adoles-
cents, Ford and colleagues (2010) found that adolescents
exposed to multiple trauma types compared to non-
exposed adolescents had double the risk for major
depressive disorder, triple the risk for PTSD, and 58
times the risk for comorbid disorders (Ford, Elhai,
Connor, & Frueh, 2010).
Substance-use problems, academic problems, and con-
current child welfare involvement are also common
among justice-involved youth. For instance, 1.9 million
of the 2.4 million youth arrested in 2000 reported a
substance-abuse problem, were arrested for a drug-
related offense, and/or were under the influence at the
time of their arrest (National Center on Addiction and
Substance Abuse, 2004). Poor academic performance
is associated with increased delinquent involvement
(Maguin & Loeber, 1996), and many youth drop out of
school after release from a juvenile justice facility
(Buffington, Dierkhising, & Marsh, 2010). Additionally,
up to 42% of youth in the juvenile justice system are
crossover youth, youth who report involvement in both
the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, with
females representing a higher proportion of crossover
youth (Herz & Ryan, 2008; Herz, Ryan, & Bilchik, 2010).
While these risk factors are thought to contribute to and/
or co-occur with justice involvement, they are often
associated with PTSD and trauma exposure also. How-
ever, less is known about the associations among these
risk factors in justice-involved samples. A better under-
standing of these associations can improve intervention
and prevention efforts for youth.
The current study
This study describes detailed trauma histories, mental
health problems, and associated risk factors (i.e., aca-
demic problems, substance/alcohol use, and concurrent
child welfare involvement) among adolescents with
recent involvement in the juvenile justice system. Justice-
involved youth include 658 adolescents (aged 1318
years) from the National Child Traumatic Stress Net-
work Core Data Set (NCTSN-CDS) who report recent
involvement in the juvenile justice system as indexed by
being detained or under community supervision by the
juvenile court. Four primary questions guide this
descriptive study: (1) What are the prevalence rates of
trauma types, mental health problems, and associated
risk factors (i.e., academic problems, substance/alcohol
use, and concurrent child welfare involvement) among
justice-involved youth?; (2) Are there gender differences
in trauma types, mental health problems, and associated
risk factors?; (3) At what age are youth first experien-
cing trauma and does trauma co-occur (i.e., multiple
trauma types occurring within a single year)?; and (4)
How is age of onset of trauma associated with mental
health problems and related risk factors among males
and females?
Method
Participants
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
is a federally funded initiative that seeks to raise the
standard of care and increase access to services for
traumatized children and their families. As part of this
initiative, the Core Data Set (CDS) was established to
standardize assessment protocols across all funded
NCTSN clinical sites. These sites included a range of
community-based mental health clinics, child welfare
settings, juvenile justice programs, hospitals, schools,
and residential treatment centers. Data were collected
between 2004 and 2010, from 56 sites located across the
country and includes baseline assessments and follow-up
treatment information and outcomes. All participants
(N14,088 children and adolescents from birth to 21
years) were referred for trauma-focused treatment and
assessed on various clinical measures, such as mental
health problems, functional impairment, treatment types,
and service system utilization. Extensive training on
assessment administration and data entry was provided
to all participating sites. A clinical service provider work-
ing with the referred youth and their parents/caregivers
completed all assessment instruments. Only baseline
assessments were used for this study.
The justice-involved subgroup (n658) includes ado-
lescents aged 1318 years who indicated recent involve-
ment with the juvenile justice system as defined by either:
(1) being in a detention center, training school, jail, or
prison (14.6%); (2) having seen a probation officer or
court counselor (57.9%); or (3) both (27.5%) within the
past 30 days. The sample is racially and ethnically diverse
with 40.1% identifying as White, 21.6% identifying as
Black, 31.4% identifying as Hispanic, and 6.9% identify-
ing as Other. The sample is composed of more females
(54%) than males (46%) and the average age is 15.7 years
(SD1.3). The majority of the sample lives at home with
their parents (53.6%), with 23.9% in either a correctional
facility or residential treatment center, 8.4% with other
family members, 6.9% in foster care, and 7.2% in another
living situation (i.e., homeless, independent, or other).
Approximately two-thirds (67.5%) of the sample reported
eligibility for public insurance.
Trauma histories among justice-involved youth
Citation: European Journal of Psychotraumatology 2013, 4: 20274 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v4i0.20274 3
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Instruments
Trauma exposure
The trauma history profile (THP) is a comprehensive
assessment of an individual’s trauma history including
type of trauma and when it occurred in the life span.
The THP includes information regarding age of onset
and whether more than one trauma type co-occurred
in the same year. The THP is derived from the trauma
history component of the UCLA PTSD-Reaction
Index (PTSD-RI: Steinberg, Brymer, Decker, & Pynoos,
2004) and expanded to include 19 trauma types. The
provider at intake or early in the course of service
delivery completed it. Trauma history information is
obtained retrospectively from multiple informants, includ-
ing the adolescent, parents/caregivers, and/or other rela-
tives. Definitions for many of the trauma types were
adapted from the National Child Abuse and Neglect
Data System (NCANDS) Glossary, a national database
of child abuse and neglect reports.
Post-traumatic stress reactions
The UCLA PTSD-RI was used to capture the frequency
of post-traumatic stress symptoms over the past month,
with response options ranging from 0 (none of the time)
to 4 (most of the time). Scoring algorithms permit
tabulation of a PTSD-RI total score, as well as Criterion
B, C, and D symptom subscale scores. For this study,
a total PTSD score is a summed continuous variable
created from the symptom items that correspond to
diagnostic criteria as defined by the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders (DSM-
IV-TR: American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000).
A clinical cut-off of 38 is then used to categorize those
in the clinical range (i.e., most likely to meet criteria for
PTSD) as described by Steinberg and colleagues (2004).
Clinically significant symptom cluster scores (i.e., Criter-
ion BD) are derived from whether or not a specific
number of symptoms were present in each cluster based
on the DSM-IV-TR criteria. For Criterion B, the DSM-
IV-TR requires the presence of at least one symptom in
the past month, for Criterion C at least three symptoms,
and for Criterion D at least two symptoms. A symptom is
considered ‘present’’ when the respondent indicates the
symptom occurred much of the time (23 times a week in
the past month) or most of the time (almost everyday in the
past month). Psychometric properties are fairly robust
with good to excellent internal reliability across age, racial/
ethnic groups, and gender (Steinberg et al., 2004, 2013).
Internalizing and externalizing problems
The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach &
Rescorla, 2001) was used to assess internalizing and
externalizing symptoms. The CBCL is completed by a
parent or caregiver who knows the child well. This widely
used measure consists of 118 items scored on a 3-point
scale ranging from 0 (not true) to 2 (often true) and yields
scores on two broad band scales of internalizing and
externalizing, as well as scores on DSM-IV-oriented
scales, and empirically based syndrome scales that reflect
emotional and behavioral problems and symptoms. The
measure has been found to have sound psychometric
properties with respect to reliability and validity, across
racially and ethnically diverse samples.
Associated risk factors
To assess for academic problems, and substance/alcohol
use, clinicians used a 3-point scale ranging from 0 (not a
problem), 1 (somewhat a problem), and 2 (very much a
problem) to rate the degree of impairment in youth
within the last 30 days. Responses indicating ‘‘somewhat
a problem’’ and ‘‘very much a problem’’ were collapsed to
create a dichotomous variable. Child welfare involvement
was determined when youth indicated that they received
services within the last 30 days from the child welfare
system (yes/no). For this study, items assessing involve-
ment in foster care, Department of Social Services (DSS),
and child welfare were collapsed to create a child welfare
involvement variable.
Results
What are the prevalence rates of trauma types,
mental health problems and associated risk factors
(i.e., academic problems, substance/alcohol use,
and concurrent child welfare involvement) among
justice-involved youth?
The average number of different trauma types experienced
among adolescents in the sample is 4.9 (SD2.9). As
shown in Fig. 1, the most frequently reported trauma types
are loss and bereavement (i.e., traumatic loss, separation
from caregiver, or bereavement) (61.2%), impaired
caregiver (51.7%), domestic violence (51.6%), emotional
abuse/psychological maltreatment (49.4%), physical
maltreatment/abuse (38.6%), and community violence
(34%).
As shown in Fig. 2, adolescents reported high levels
of post-traumatic stress symptoms with 23.6% in the
clinical range for PTSD. Additionally, the majority of
adolescents reached the clinical range on specific PTSD
symptom clusters (i.e., re-experiencing, hyperarousal,
avoidance). For Criterion B, 71.8% of the sample was in
the clinical range, 53.2% for Criterion C symptoms
and 80.6% for Criterion D symptoms. The majority
of the sample (66.1%) reported externalizing problems
in the clinical range and nearly half (45.5%) reported
internalizing problems in the clinical range. Within the
externalizing domain, rule breaking (37%) and aggressive
behavior (34.1%) were the most frequently endorsed be-
haviors, followed by attention problems (20.1%) and
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Citation: European Journal of Psychotraumatology 2013, 4: 20274 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v4i0.20274
social problems (15.5%). Internalizing symptoms were
more evenly split with 22.3% endorsing withdrawn/
depressed symptoms and thought problems, 21% endor-
sing anxious/depressed symptoms, and 20.1% endorsing
somatic complaints. Adolescents also reported substan-
tial academic problems (71.8%), substance/alcohol use
(43.8%), and concurrent child welfare involvement (42.2%).
Are there gender differences in trauma types, mental
health problems, and associated risk factors?
Differences in mental health problems and associated
risk factors between genders were assessed using Type 3
tests from mixed general linear models for continuous
variables and mixed logistic models for binary variables.
A classic Bonferroni correction was then used which
required p-values50.005 for significance (Rosenthal &
Rosnow, 2007). As shown in Table 1, both males and
females showed relatively similar rates of exposure to
each type of trauma with the exception of sexual abuse
and assault where females had higher rates. However,
females reported significantly higher rates of total PTSD
(F(1,24)13.17, pB0.005), Criterion B symptoms
(F(1,24)18.00, pB0.005), and concurrent child welfare
involvement (F(1,23)14.29, pB0.005). There were no
Fig. 1. Prevalence rates of trauma exposure by trauma type.
Fig. 2. Percent of youth in the clinical range for mental health problems and prevalence rates of associated risk factors.
Trauma histories among justice-involved youth
Citation: European Journal of Psychotraumatology 2013, 4: 20274 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v4i0.20274 5
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significant differences between internalizing and exter-
nalizing problems, substance/alcohol use, and academic
problems among males and females at the 0.005
significance level.
At what age are youth first experiencing trauma and
does trauma co-occur (i.e., multiple trauma types
occurring within a single year)?
Age at first trauma exposure was overwhelmingly early in
the youth’s lives. As shown in Fig. 3, age of onset
for trauma exposure occurred within the first year of
life for 33.72% of youth, followed by 28.42% of youth
who first experienced trauma in years one through five.
Thus, more than half (62.14%) of the group experienced
trauma in the first 5 years of life. While trauma first
occurred in early childhood, the prevalence rate of
exposure to co-occurring trauma generally increased
at each age from childhood into adolescence (Fig. 4).
By age 5, one-quarter to one-third of youth report co-
occurring trauma exposure at each age. The majority of
youth (90%) experienced multiple trauma types and
only 10% experienced a single trauma type at the time
of assessment, regardless of frequency or duration of
exposure.
How is age of onset of trauma associated with
mental health problems and associated risk factors
among males and females?
As shown in Table 2, there are differences between
males and females in the associations among age of onset
and mental health problems. For females, early age of onset
was associated with higher total PTSD (r 0.148, p
0.01), Criterion C (r 0.139, p0.015), and Criterion D
symptoms (r0.158, p0.006) but not for males. Early
age of onset was associated with both externalizing and
internalizing problems for males (r.0.332, pB0.01;
r0.233, p B0.01) and females (r0.153, pB0.05;
r0.175, p B0.01), respectively; though the magni-
tudes of the correlations were larger for males. Age of
onset was highly correlated to exposure to multiple trauma
types for both males (r0.406, p B0.001) and females
(r0.404, p B0.001). Finally, age of onset was related
to child welfare involvement for males (r 0.152,
pB0.05) and females (r0.146, p B0.01), but not
with academic problems or substance/alcohol use.
Discussion
Overview of findings
This study describes the trauma histories, mental health
problems, and associated risk factors among adolescents
Table 1
. Prevalence
1
of trauma types by ender
Male Female
Trauma type
2
N303 N355
Sexual maltreatment/abuse 45 (15.5%) 109 (31.8%)
Sexual assault/rape 26 (8.8%) 130 (38.7%)
Physical maltreatment/abuse 115 (39%) 139 (40.6%)
Physical assault 77 (26.6%) 83 (24.1%)
Emotional abuse/psychological maltreatment 137 (46.3%) 188 (53.9%)
Neglect 90 (30.7%) 102 (29.7%)
Domestic violence 147 (51.4%) 193 (56.3%)
War/terrorism/PV inside the United States 3 (1%) 11 (3.1%)
War/Terrorism/PV outside United States 6 (2%) 4 (1.1%)
Illness/medical 34 (11.3%) 38 (10.9%)
Serious injury/accident 60 (20.1%) 67 (19%)
Natural disaster 21 (7%) 26 (7.4%)
Kidnapping 10 (3.3%) 19 (5.4%)
Traumatic loss or bereavement 174 (58.6%) 229 (64.9%)
Forced displacement 5 (1.7%) 17 (4.8%)
Impaired caregiver 140 (47.5%) 200 (57.3%)
Extreme interpersonal violence 38 (12.9%) 50 (14.3%)
Community violence 119 (40.8%) 105 (30.1%)
School violence 67 (23%) 80 (23.1%)
1
Percentage based on entire relevant population, not excluding ‘missing’ for each trauma type.
2
Trauma types are not mutually exclusive.
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Citation: European Journal of Psychotraumatology 2013, 4: 20274 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v4i0.20274
with recent involvement in the juvenile justice system.
Mental health problems were prevalent with nearly one-
quarter (23.6%) of youth meeting criteria for PTSD.
Furthermore, over half of the sample indicated post-
traumatic stress symptoms in the clinical range on at least
one symptom cluster. Youth overwhelmingly presented
with academic problems, substance/alcohol use, and con-
current child welfare involvement. Findings also reveal
that youth with recent involvement in the justice system
tended to be exposed to trauma beginning early in life and
continued to experience multiple types of trauma. Addi-
tionally, early age of onset of trauma was associated with
exposure to multiple types of trauma for both males and
females, while early age of onset was differentially asso-
ciated with mental health problems among males and
females.
Practice implications
Findings from this study have implications for both
practitioners and policymakers. At the practice level, it
Fig. 3. Distribution of age of first trauma exposure.
Fig. 4. Prevalence rates of multiple types and single type of trauma exposure averaged each year by age.
Trauma histories among justice-involved youth
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Table 2
. Correlations between selected variables, females in upper brackets and males in lower brackets
Measure 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
1. Age
1
0.03 0.21*** 0.01 0.07 0.09 0.07 0.12 0.04 0.22*** 0.04 0.08
2. Age/first exposure
2
0.09 0.40*** 0.10 0.14
*
0.16** 0.15* 0.18** 0.15* 0.09 0.15** 0.06
3. Number of trauma types 0.08 0.41*** 0.20*** 0.18*** 0.16** 0.21*** 0.27*** 0.06 0.05 0.29*** 0.01
4. Criterion B 0.07 0.01 0.27*** 0.70*** 0.61*** 0.89*** 0.30*** 0.09 0.14* 0.06 0.06
5. Criterion C 0.09 0.01 0.29*** 0.70*** 0.61*** 0.91*** 0.37*** 0.22*** 0.16** 0.01 0.08
6. Criterion D 0.07 0.08 0.28*** 0.57*** 0.61*** 0.81*** 0.28*** 0.19** 0.14* 0.00 0.09
7. PTSD total 0.09 0.03 0.32*** 0.87*** 0.91*** 0.82*** 0.38*** 0.20** 0.17** 0.03 0.09
8. CBCL int 0.02 0.23** 0.20** 0.20* 0.23** 0.20* 0.25** 0.49*** 0.13 0.03 0.08
9. CBCL ext 0.09 0.33** 0.15* 0.08 0.11 0.24** 0.161* 0.55*** 0.27*** 0.15* 0.34***
10. Academic problems 0.07 0.07 0.14* 0.04 0.03 0.06 0.05 0.07 0.19** 0.04 0.11
11. Welfare involvement 0.13* 0.15* 0.03 0.08 0.16* 0.10 0.13* 0.07 0.00 0.05 0.20***
12. Substance use 0.24*** 0.05 0.06 0.14* 0.10 0.17* 0.15* 0.12 0.13 0.12* 0.10
Intercorrelations for female subjects (n 355) are presented above the diagonal, and intercorrelations for male subjects (n
303) are presented below the diagonal.
1
Age refers to age at baseline evaluation.
2
Age/first exposure refers to the earliest age at which the subject reports trauma experience.
*pB0.05, **pB0.01, ***pB0.001.
Carly B. Dierkhising et al.
8
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Citation: European Journal of Psychotraumatology 2013, 4: 20274 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v4i0.20274
is clear that screening for trauma exposure, PTSD, and
internalizing problems is needed among justice-involved
youth. The juvenile justice system is in a unique position
to address the multiple problems that impact the lives of
justice-involved youth as it has contact with, and often
oversight of, this vulnerable population. Beyond screen-
ing, clinical assessments are imperative to clearly identify
clinical disorders and related functional impairments that
guide treatment planning. In light of scarce resources,
screening and assessment tools can, and should, be used
to direct resources to those most in need.
While PTSD is prevalent among the sample, it was
also found that many youth who do not meet criteria for
a diagnosis of PTSD are still experiencing clinically
significant post-traumatic stress symptoms within indivi-
dual symptom clusters. For practitioners working with
this population, utilizing a conservative cut-off score
or methodology when screening for PTSD may more
accurately identify youth experiencing clinically signifi-
cant post-traumatic stress reactions. With this screening
method, a follow-up clinical assessment could then be
used to evaluate how symptoms may be adversely
impacting youth’s functioning.
An essential aspect of an effective screening and
assessment process is the availability of evidence-based
practices for justice-involved youth experiencing trauma
reactions. Fortunately, there is an emerging literature on
promising practices and evidence-based treatments for
justice populations (Kerig, 2012b). Trauma Affect Reg-
ulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET;
Ford & Russo, 2006) has been found to reduce disciplin-
ary incidents and punitive sanctions (Ford & Hawke,
2012) and, when compared to treatment as usual, a
reduction in mental health problems among incarcerated
youth (Marrow, Knudsen, Olafson, & Bucher, 2012). Other
interventions have built upon existing evidence-based
treatments by adding a trauma-informed approach (Kerig
& Alexander, 2012; Smith, Chamberlain, & Deblinger,
2012). For example, an innovative pilot study of an in-
tervention which integrated components of Trauma
Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT; Cohen,
Mannarino, & Deblinger, 2006) with Multidimensional
Treatment Foster Care (MTFC; Chamberlain, 2003)
found a reduction in trauma-related symptoms and
delinquency compared to treatment as usual (Smith
et al., 2012). Continued intervention studies are needed
to further support and disseminate trauma-focused
treatment for justice-involved youth.
In light of the prevalence of trauma and post-traumatic
stress, staff who have direct and consistent contact with
justice-involved youth, such as probation officers and
detention staff, should be trained to understand trauma
and post-traumatic reactions so they are best equipped to
recognize potential emotional distress and post-traumatic
stress reactions (Griffin, Germain, & Wilkerson, 2012;
Marrow et al., 2012). While these staff members are not
expected to conduct a clinical assessment (nor are they
qualified to), knowledge of trauma and post-traumatic
stress can facilitate a better understanding and anticipa-
tion of the problems that may arise for justice-involved
youth. In addition, trauma-informed training can help
staff members who are not clinically trained to make
appropriate referrals to mental health practitioners when
needed, as they may have the most frequent and direct
contact with youth. Indeed, recent research has shown
that implementation of a trauma-informed approach
using both trauma training for direct care staff and a
trauma-focused intervention was effective in reducing
psychological distress among youth and improving man-
agement of youth problem behaviors (e.g., reductions in
seclusions and restraints) when compared to treatment as
usual (Marrow et al., 2012).
Policy implications
It is important for policymakers to acknowledge that
justice-involved youth have strikingly high rates of
trauma exposure and that this trauma typically begins
early in life, is often in multiple contexts (e.g., home,
community, school), and persists over time. In light of
these findings, prevention and intervention policies
should target young children exposed to violence in order
to reduce the likelihood of re-victimization and mental
health problems, as well as prevent future justice involve-
ment. For youth who do come to the attention of the
juvenile court, it is imperative that the system is prepared
to meet the needs of chronically traumatized youth
with significant mental health problems. Policies that
support a trauma-informed juvenile justice system
should emphasize trauma screening and assessment,
evidence-based trauma treatment, cross-system engage-
ment, and promote resilience and engagement among
youth and families (Griffin et al., 2012; Ko & Sprague,
2007).
Attention should also be paid to youth who are not
diverted at the point of contact with the juvenile court,
resulting in incarceration in a detention or residential
treatment facility. These youth are, perhaps, most vulner-
able as all other prior interventions have not been suc-
cessful and they are more likely to recidivate as a juvenile
or as an adult, and have poor long-term economic,
academic, and mental health outcomes (Justice Policy
Institute, 2009; Widom & Maxfield, 1996). Incarceration
can be traumatic for youth and abusive practices that
are common among large-scale detention facilities
may continue to expose youth to trauma and abuse
(Mendel, 2011). Policies that promote safety and treatment
in these facilities are needed in order to protect and
rehabilitate youth in the deepest parts of the juvenile
justice system.
Trauma histories among justice-involved youth
Citation: European Journal of Psychotraumatology 2013, 4: 20274 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v4i0.20274 9
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These findings also highlight important gender differ-
ences among justice-involved youth. We found early age of
onset of trauma exposure was significantly correlated with
increased post-traumatic stress reactions among females
but not males. Additionally, females reported significantly
higher rates of post-traumatic stress reactions compared
to males. These findings indicate a need for a gender
responsive approach. Acknowledging and addressing the
distinct needs of males and females is an integral part of
juvenile justice reform efforts, while additional research
and funding mechanisms to enhance gender responsive-
ness are needed (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delin-
quency Prevention [OJJDP], 1998; Watson & Edelman,
2012).
Limitations and strengths
The current study’s findings must be considered in light of
its limitations. Importantly, the sample consists of clini-
cally referred adolescents from non-randomly selected
treatment sites, which limits generalizability. Nevertheless,
it is one of the few studies of justice-involved youth that
includes a multi-state sample with consistent use of
selected measures across states. Justice-involved youth
were aggregated to include both detained youth and youth
in the community under supervision by the juvenile court
which can obscure potential between-group differences.
Yet, even using this broader definition of justice-involved
youth we found comparable rates of mental health
problems and trauma exposure to previous studies. This
provides support for enhancing services for youth with
varied levels of involvement in the justice system. Youth in
the CDS were clinically referred for trauma treatment,
meaning their inclusion in the CDS is predicated on
trauma exposure, which contributes to potential over-
estimation of prevalence rates of trauma exposure. How-
ever, it also allowed for the inclusion of a broader range of
trauma types and more detailed trauma histories.
Despite these limitations, these findings expand the
literature by utilizing a comprehensive trauma history
assessment, including a broad range of traumas and age
at time of exposure, among a large, multi-state sample.
This methodology provides a deeper understanding of
justice-involved youth’s trauma histories and later mental
health problems, which have essential practice and
policy implications. Future research should continue to
explore developmental pathways from trauma exposure
to justice involvement by focusing on the implications of
timing of trauma exposure and cumulative exposure
across development in order to identify key points for
intervention.
Conflict of interest and funding
The UCLA/Duke University National Center for
Child Traumatic Stress is currently funded through the
Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
(SAMHSA), US Department of Health and Human
Services (USDHHS) through a cooperative agreement
(2 U79 SM054284-12). The views, policies, and opinions
expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily
reflect those of CMHS, SAMHSA, or USDHHS.
Acknowledgements
The authors acknowledge the 56 centers within the NCTSN that
have contributed data to the Core Data Set as well as the staff,
children, youth, and families at NCTSN centers throughout the
United States that have made this collaborative network possible.
They also thank our colleagues and partners at CMHS/SAMHSA
for their leadership and guidance.
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... Phrases such as the trauma to prison pipeline (Baumle, 2018), sexual abuse to prison pipeline (Saar et al., 2015), and gender-based violence to prison pipeline (McCray & Noelle, 2019) have brought attention to the shockingly high rates of trauma experienced by system-impacted youth. A recent study estimated that up to 90% of justiceinvolved youth have recently experienced a traumatic event (Dierkhising et al., 2013), while approximately half of justice-involved girls and a quarter of justice-involved boys have five or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs; Baglivio et al., 2014;Saar et al., 2015). Systemimpacted youth are no strangers to adversity; there is a crucial need to reform the harmful, punitive-based juvenile justice practices that contribute to these pipelines. ...
... Two studies have explored the relationship between ACEs and recidivism among gendered racial/ethnic groups (Craig & Zettler, 2021;DeLisi et al., 2017), however one of them looked at gendered racial/ethnic groups of boys (DeLisi et al., 2017). Given that up to 90% percent of systemimpacted youth in the U.S. report at least of traumatic event (see Dierkhising et al., 2013), there is a significant need to examine this gap in the literature. This dissertation will directly address this literature gap by exploring ACEs within gendered racial/ethnic groups of system-impacted youth in the U.S. ...
... Chesney-Lind (1989) explains that gender roles play a significant impact on girls' victimization, because "…unlike boys, girls' victimization and their responses to that victimization is specifically shaped by their status as young women" (Chesney-Lind, 1989, p. 23). Compared to boys, girls experience trauma/abuse/victimization at higher rates, experience it at an earlier age and over more extended periods of time (Belknap, 2007;Belknap & Holsinger, 2006;Dierkhising et al., 2013;Saar et al., 2015). System-involved girls experience sexual assault/rape at a rate four times higher than that of boys (Dierkhising et al., 2013). ...
Thesis
Justice-involved youth are exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) at higher rates than youth in the general public, highlighting the importance of addressing childhood trauma and adversity in juvenile justice settings. A majority of ACEs research has focused on the general population and has demonstrated the long lasting negative impact of ACEs, on mental health, physical health, and engagement in health risk behaviors. Both gender and racial/ethnic differences have been identified in ACEs literature, suggesting that not all groups in society have the same likelihood of experiencing ACEs. Additionally, ACEs may also impact individuals from racial/ethnic or gender groups differently, resulting in variable outcomes. In comparison to the ACEs literature among the general public, little research has examined ACEs among justice involved youth, and even fewer studies have examined gender and racial/ethnic differences in these settings. A historical account of gender and racial/ethnic discrimination within the juvenile justice system, coupled with the feminist pathways perspective within an intersectional context, illustrates gendered racial/ethnic differences regarding pathways into the system and ongoing discrimination. To advance the ACEs literature, this dissertation explores the prevalence of ACEs as well as the relationship between ACEs, behavioral factors associated with delinquency, and recidivism within gendered racial/ethnic groups of justice-involved youth. The findings of the current study demonstrate the importance of accounting for both gender and race/ethnicity, as few studies have done so. Overall, the findings were mixed in relation to the prior literature and highlight the need for more research in this area, as few conclusions can be drawn from the current study’s findings. While more research is needed, broad policy implications are drawn from this study to help guide equitable assessment and treatment/services of trauma among justice-involved youth.
... Childhood victimization has been found to be associated with an increased in probability of sexual offending during adulthood. Previous studies have reported that childhood victimization rates were significantly higher among incarcerated individuals than the general population (Dierkhising et al., 2013;Levenson et al., 2014). This finding led to the hypothesis suggesting that individuals who have had traumatic experiences in their childhood were more likely to be involved in sexual offending, particularly sexual abuse against children (Abbiati et al., 2014;Davis et al., 2012;Drury et al., 2019;Krahé & Berger, 2017;Lee et al., 2002;Miley et al., 2020;Whitaker et al., 2008). ...
... Our results showed both a direct and indirect relationships between childhood victimization and the commission of sexual crimes during adolescence. This relationship was also present among offline sexual offenders in past studies (Blumstein et al., 1988;Dierkhising et al., 2013;Drury et al., 2019;Jennings & Meade, 2017;Miley et al., 2020). Although not surprising, it is interesting to note that the involvement in delinquency during adolescence was the only risk factor that showed direct and indirect relationships with childhood victimization. ...
Article
Background Research on childhood victimization of individuals involved in online sexual offending during adulthood is scarce. Studies focusing on adverse childhood of individuals involved in offline child abuse suggested that childhood trauma was associated with an increased probability of sexual offending during adulthood. Objective The purpose of this study is to explore the role that childhood victimization may have in the development of risk factors that increase the likelihood of being involved in online sexual offending. Participants This comparative study analyzed the characteristics of 127 individuals involved in online sexual offending who did not experience childhood victimization and 77 individuals involved in online sexual offending who experienced childhood victimization. Methods Bivariate and regression analyses were conducted to identify variables associated with the presence of victimization and polyvictimization during childhood. Next, structural equation modeling analysis was used to identify the direct and indirect relationships between childhood (poly)victimization and the development of risk factors. Results Results showed that individuals who experienced childhood victimization presented different risk factors and cognitions compared to those who did not. Depending on the type of victimization experienced, criminogenic cognitions, antisocial behaviors, and sexual interests for children were more likely to be developed. Conclusions For individuals involved in online sexual offending during adulthood, childhood abuse is directly associated with the development of offense-supportive cognitions, substance abuse, and youth engagement in sexual offending, while sexual interests for children and sense of loneliness are indirect consequences of childhood trauma.
... Applying a trauma-informed lens to experiences of incarceration provides important insight for understanding causal relationships between incarceration and mental and behavioral health (10,11). Rates of potentially traumatic events (PTEs) during incarceration have been reported as high as 96.8% among incarcerated people (12). ...
Article
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Purpose Intimate partner violence (IPV) and substance use disorder (SUD) frequently co-occur and are rarely addressed together despite evidence indicating benefits of combined interventions. Both are linked to trauma. Scholars have theorized attention to trauma may facilitate engagement with IPV and SUD but have not studied this potential empirically. Methods Using service system level quantitative data on organizations focused on IPV or SUD (n = 281) in a midwestern city in the United States and semi-structured interviews with policymakers, funders, and practitioners in both areas (n = 27), this paper uses grounded theory to explore whether attention to trauma facilitates attention to IPV and SUD. Results While quantitative data suggest addressing trauma and both IPV and SUD are associated at the service system level, analysis of interview data indicates greater complexity. Despite consensus on trauma-informed care’s potential, competing understandings of temporality (when trauma occurs in relation to IPV or SUD), different liabilities associated with addressing trauma, and different intervention approaches combine to limit engagement by both IPV and SUD organizations. Rather than adopting trauma-informed care, both types of organizations more typically engage trauma selectively, offering discrete services rather than holistic intervention. Findings have implications for addressing co-occurring IPV, SUD, and trauma and for practice, policy, education, and research. Conclusions There is need for greater consensus about what it means to address trauma, increased investments in practitioner education and training around intersections of IPV, SUD, and trauma, and additional supports to incentivize movement from a trauma services approach towards meaningful implementation of trauma-informed care.
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Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe the PTSD symptom presentation (including dissociative symptoms) of PTSD using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition diagnostic criteria and explore associations between the symptom severity for each of the four PTSD symptom clusters and polytrauma, defined as multiple exposures to different categories of potentially traumatic events. Methods This is a secondary analysis of cross-sectional program evaluation data among 95 young people (aged 11–19) at therapy initiation in a southeastern state in the U.S. We used descriptive statistics and multivariable linear regression to test study objectives. Results Eighty-one respondents (90.0%) experienced a potentially traumatic event in ≥ 2 trauma categories, in addition to experiencing CSE/T. Approximately two-thirds of respondents experienced clinically significant PTSD symptoms for each symptom cluster. Of the 31 young people who met full criteria for PTSD, 9 met criteria for the standard PTSD diagnosis, while 22 met criteria for the dissociative subtype of PTSD. On average, experiencing additional trauma categories was associated with substantively higher PTSD symptom cluster scores for each cluster. Conclusions These findings support the need for a comprehensive assessment of trauma symptoms that includes cluster-specific PTSD symptoms. They also underscore the need to assess the full breadth and chronicity of trauma experiences to guide treatment planning and delivery, targeting specific domains of trauma impact. These findings can also inform the tailoring and adaptation of evidence-based interventions and strategies to better meet the needs of young people who have experienced CSE/T.
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The authors of this handbook on Restorative Justice are Professor Ivo Aertsen from Leuven University, Professor Jana D. Javakhishvili from Ilia State University and Dr. Lado Javakhishvili - who was a Head of the Crime Prevention Unit within the MInistry of Justice of Georgia at the moment when this handbook was written (2020). The handbook is published in Georgian language. The target audiences of the handbook are those lawyers, psychologists, mediators, social workers and other professionals who would like to enhance their understanding and knowledge on the issues of restorative justice and victim-offender mediation. The handbook could be used in universities and professional education settings.
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Purpose Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are linked to problematic outcomes across the life course, but it is unclear how ACEs affect psychological distress in adolescence and if this relationship varies by gender. The purposes of this paper are two-fold. First, we explore how the accumulation, timing, and duration of early ACEs influences youth psychological distress. Second, we explore how these patterns may vary by gender. Methods Generalized Linear Models (GLM) were based on data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCW), a national sample of urban-born, mostly at-risk youth. Results Findings indicate that as the number of early ACEs (by age 5) incrementally increases, youth internalized and externalized psychological distress also increases, even after adjusting for recent adversity. Moreover, early ACEs that are intermittent or chronically high significantly increase youth internalized and externalized psychological distress. Our results also indicate that ACEs (by age 5) are related to psychological distress differently for boys and girls, with ACEs being related to both internalized and externalized psychological distress for boys, while ACEs were mainly related to externalized distress for girls. Conclusions This study highlights the importance of early ACEs in youth psychological distress and the importance of considering gender in these relationships.
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In recent years, increasing attention has been drawn to a population previously overlooked in studies of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and that is youth involved with the juvenile justice system. Although prevalence rates vary, recent studies reveal that as many as 32% of boys and 52% of girls in detention settings meet DSM-IV criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD (see Kerig & Becker, in press, for a review). However, given that this area of research is relatively new, few studies to date have gone beyond the documentation of prevalence rates to examine the underlying processes that might account for the link between trauma and severe forms of antisocial behavior. The present chapter describes the prevailing theoretical models of the developmental psychopathology of trauma and delinquency and reviews the existing empirical evidence in support of their suppositions. Models discussed include those focusing on emotion processing (e.g., affect dysregulation, emotional numbing, emotion recognition deficits); cognitive processes (e.g., hostile attributions, stigma, alienation); interpersonal processes (e.g., traumatic bonding, antisocial peers); as well as integrative models, including attachment theory and the trauma coping model.
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All too often, children are victims of violence, crime, and abuse. This victimization may take the form of physical assault, child maltreatment, sexual abuse, or bullying. They may also witness such events in their homes, schools, and communities. Some children suffer several different kinds of such victimization even over a relatively brief timespan. These children and youth are at particularly high risk for lasting physical, mental, and emotional harm.
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Traditionally, delinquent girls were considered an anomaly, a rare phenomenon attracting little scholarly notice. Today, more than one in four youth offenders is female, and researchers and practitioners alike are quickly turning their attention and resources to address this challenging situation. Delinquent Girls: Contexts, Relationships, and Adaptation synthesizes what is known about girls involved in delinquent behavior and their experiences at different points in the juvenile justice system. This breakthrough volume adds to the understanding of this population by offering empirical analysis not only of how these behaviors develop but also about what is being done to intervene. Employing multiple theoretical models, qualitative and quantitative data sources, law enforcement records, and insights across disciplines, leading scholars review causes and correlates; the roles of family and peers; psychological and legal issues; policy changes resulting in more arrests of young women; and evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies. Each chapter covers its subject in depth, providing theory, findings, and future directions. Important topics addressed include: Narrowing the gender gap - trends in girls' delinquency. Girls at the intersection of juvenile justice, criminal justice, and child welfare. Trauma exposure, mental health issues, and girls' delinquency. Beyond the stereotypes: girls in gangs. Intervention programs for at-risk and court-involved girls. Implications for practice and policy. With its broad scope and solution-oriented focus, Delinquent Girls: Contexts, Relationships, and Adaptation is a must-have volume for researchers, professionals, graduate students, and social policy experts in clinical child and school psychology, social work, juvenile justice, criminology, developmental psychology, and sociology. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012. All rights reserved.
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Female adolescents entering the juvenile justice system have complex and serious problems in multiple areas of adjustment. Literature is reviewed on the prevalence and form of antisocial behavior in girls and on the long-term implications of such problems in adolescence. Risk factor characteristics, including family fragmentation, physical and sexual trauma, mental health problems, official arrest and self-report offending histories of a population of girls referred for out-of-home placement because of repeated and chronic juvenile offending are presented. In addition, with the exception of sexual trauma histories, these sample characteristics are compared to a similar sample of chronically offending boys. A treatment approach is described and pilot data are presented on its feasibility. Implications for designing empirically-based, gender-related treatment models are discussed.
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This article describes a nonrandomized program evaluation study of a trauma-focused intervention for youth incarcerated for felony-level offenses in a juvenile justice setting. Thirty-eight youth previously assigned to two mental health units were provided with Treatment as Usual (TAU) plus a one day trauma training for staff, while 36 youth placed on three mental health units during the same time frame were provided with the intervention, which included TAU combined with environmental modifications, additional trauma training for staff, and Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy group for youth. Results showed significant reductions in depression, youth threats toward staff, use of physical restraints, and seclusion rates for youth on the intervention program units when compared with youth on the TAU program units. The youth involved in the intervention program also reported greater hope and optimism.
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Society struggles with mistreated, acting-out youth, vacillating between offering help and punishing. The Supreme Court has recently considered issues of adolescence and brain development when reviewing youth sentences; however, sentencing goals remain a local policy decision. Traditionally, our juvenile justice system follows either a punitive or a mental health model. This article offers a trauma-informed model, arguing that it is consistent with the Supreme Court's approach and with sentencing goals. It reviews how the trauma-informed model differs from the two previous models, why this is preferable, and how to implement the new model in juvenile justice settings.
Book
This explanation of crime and deviance over the life course is based on the re-analysis of a classic set of data: Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck's mid-century study of 500 delinquents and 500 non-delinquents from childhood to adulthood. More than five years ago, Robert Sampson and John Laub dusted off 60 cartons of the Gluecks' data that had been stored in the basement of the Harvard Law School and undertook a lengthy process of recoding, computerizing, and reanalyzing it. On the basis of their findings, Sampson and Laub developed a theory of informal social control over the life course which integrates three ideas. First, social bonds to family and school inhibit delinquency in childhood and adolescence. Second, there is continuity in antisocial and deviant behaviour from childhood through adulthood across various dimensions, such as crime, alcohol abuse, divorce and unemployment. And finally, despite these continuities, attachment to the labour force and cohesive marriage sharply mitigate criminal activities. Sampson and Laub thus acknowledge the importance of childhood behaviours and individual differences, but reject the implication that adult social factors have little relevance. They seek to account for both stability and change in crime and deviance throughout the life course. "Crime in the making" challenges several major ideas found in contemporary theory and aims to provide an important new foundation for rethinking criminal justice policy.
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A meta-analysis of naturalistic studies of the academic performance-delinquency relationship and of intervention studies aimed both at improving academic performance and reducing delinquency found that children with lower academic performance offended more frequently, committed more serious and violent offenses, and persisted in their offending. The association was stronger for males than females and for whites than for African Americans. Academic performance predicted delinquency independent of socioeconomic status. Some intervention and prevention programs, using law-related or moral education components with adolescent children and self-control, social skills, and parent training components with young school-age children, were found to effect significant improvements in academic performance and delinquency.