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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-28127

Plattner, B; Steiner, H; The, S S L; Kraemer, H C; Bauer, S M; Kindler, J; Friedrich, M H; Kasper, S; Feucht, M (2009). Sex-specific predictors of criminal recidivism in a representative sample of incarcerated youth. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 50(5):400-407.

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OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to identify sex-specific psychopathologic predictors of criminal recidivism among a representative sample of incarcerated youths. METHOD: In this prospective longitudinal study, the Mini-International Psychiatric Interview for children and adolescents was used to assess psychopathology in juveniles entering an Austrian pretrial detention facility between March 2003 and January 2005. From the beginning of the study until January 2006, data on criminal history were obtained from the Integrierte Vollzugsverwaltung, a database containing criminal information of every individual incarcerated in Austria. Of the 370 eligible participants, the final study sample comprised 328 juveniles (56 girls and 272 boys, age range = 14-21 years, mean = 16.7). RESULTS: Reincarceration rates within the specified follow-up period were 52.6% for the boys and 37.5% for the girls. Using Cox forward stepwise regression and Kaplan-Meier analyses, age at first incarceration (B = -.296, Wald statistic = 17.11, P < .001) and oppositional defiant disorder (B = .751, Wald statistic = 19.25, P < .001) were identified as significant predictors for reoffending in boys. In girls, generalized anxiety disorder (B = 1.97, Wald statistic = 13.71, P < .001) was found to be a predictor for reoffending, whereas dysthymia (B = -1.44, Wald statistic = 4.02, P = .045) was found to serve as protective factor. CONCLUSION: Our study confirms high rates of reoffending after release from correctional facilities in both sexes. It further defines sex-specific psychopathologic risk factors for relapse in incarcerated juveniles. According to our results, in boys, oppositional defiant disorder and early age at first incarceration are predictive of reincarceration. In girls, anxiety disorder was found to be a risk factor for future offending, whereas dysthymia was found to have a protective influence. Consequently, rehabilitation programs should be sex specific.


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23 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:September 2009
Deposited On:22 Jan 2010 05:01
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:47
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.comppsych.2008.09.014
PubMed ID:19683609

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