Brief report: Delinquent behaviour and depression in middle adolescence: A Finnish community sample

Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, Adolescent ward, Tampere, Finland.
Journal of Adolescence (Impact Factor: 2.05). 03/2005; 28(1):155-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2004.07.002
Source: PubMed


A large number (N 50,569) of 14-16 year old Finnish adolescents taking part in the School Health Promotion Study were surveyed for delinquent behaviour in relation to depression. The results indicate a robust association between delinquency and depression. Among girls risk for depression varied between 1.3 and 3.1 according to various antisocial behaviours (the equivalent risk among boys was 1.3-2.5). Depression increased according to the frequency of delinquent behaviour. The results emphasize the importance of comprehensive clinical assessment and treatment of delinquent adolescents.

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    • "However, according to Vermeiren [5], findings in incarcerated juveniles cannot be transferred to non-detained offenders. Currently, only a few studies have evaluated the frequencies of mental disorders in general in this specific group of non-detained juveniles [2,5,9]. An increased rate of conduct disorders, substance abuse and depressive symptoms were found in two of these studies [10,11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background High rates of mental disorders have been found in detained juvenile offenders, whereas the role of psychopathology in non-detained offenders is less clear. Therefore, the present study compared psychopathology in male non-detained delinquent juveniles and two matched samples from the community and an adolescent psychiatric clinic. Methods 125 male adolescents aged 11 to 19 years (m = 16.2 years, SD = 1.5 years) from an outpatient adolescent forensic clinic were compared to a community sample from the Zurich Adolescent Psychology and Psychopathology Study (ZAPPS) and a referred sample from a psychiatric clinic matched for age and nationality. All subjects responded to questionnaires measuring internalizing and externalizing problems, depressive symptoms and self-esteem. Results The sample of non-detained juvenile offenders showed similar rates of self-reported internalizing and externalizing problems when compared to the community sample, whereas the clinic sample displayed an increased rate of various disturbances. Similar results were found also for self-esteem. In agreement with these findings, non-detained juvenile offenders less frequently had a psychiatric diagnosis after full clinical assessment when compared to the clinical sample. However, a diagnosis of conduct disorders and a lower IQ range was found more frequently in non-detained juvenile offenders. Offenders with serious delinquent acts and involving weapons showed higher depression scores than the rest of the offenders. Conclusion In non-detained assessment situations before court examination, juvenile offenders present rather normal behaviour. Their lack of awareness of potential behavioural problems should be considered during assessment and treatment of this group of offenders.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
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    • "The use of self-reported data may create vulnerability to bias responses that could impact the validity and generalisability of the findings. However, as several authors have recently stressed, the reliability and validity of adolescents' self-reports when measuring risk behaviours such as antisocial and offending behaviour is acceptable (Flisher et al. 2004; Ritakallio et al. 2005). It should also be noted that as the data are cross-sectional, caution is necessary in making causal inferences. "
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    ABSTRACT: It seems undeniable that immediate social contexts exert an important influential role on adolescent behavioural adjustment. Research thus far has found that certain family, school and community/neighbourhood environment characteristics may influence a youth’s involvement in risk activities such as antisocial behaviour and drug use, and even delinquent behaviour. However, the mechanisms that link these characteristics to such behaviours have not yet been thoroughly analysed and prior research has focused mainly on adult populations. The objective of this study was to analyse the joint contribution of specific factors, deriving from family, school and society, which have an effect on levels of drug consumption, antisocial and offending behaviour, in a sample of 2528 youths (aged 10 to 16). In particular, in accounting for involvement in risk activities and ultimately in offending behaviour, we examined interactions among the following variables: living in a disadvantaged community, quality of relationship with parents, distrust in local police, attitude to social norms, and rejection of and from school (truancy, suspension and expulsion). A structural equation model was calculated to account for these interactions, which revealed patterns of influence with important practical implications related to social policies on risk behaviours in adolescence. KeywordsAdolescence-Antisocial behaviour-Drug use-Family-Offending behaviour-School
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research
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    • "Delinquent females were more often depressed (Piko et al. 2005; Ritakallio et al. 2005), suicidal and substance abusing (Piko et al. 2005) than were non-delinquent females. For males, results regarding the relationship between depression and delinquency are inconsistent (Piko et al. 2005; Ritakallio et al. 2005). Psychological well-being was related to male delinquency but not to female delinquency (Junger-Tas et al. 2004, study 1). "
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews 30 European studies on risk factors for delinquency in adolescent and young adult females. Risk factors are compared with those for (adolescent) male delinquency. Risk factors unique to females are identified, as well as risk factors shared by males and females. Sex differences in risk factors are mainly found for individual and family factors. Females and males differ less in school and peer risk factors. As studies zoom in more on specific domains of risk factors or specific types of delinquent behaviour, more differences emerge between males and females. The limitations of studies examining female delinquency are discussed and future research areas proposed.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2010 · European Journal of Criminology
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