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Detained Male Adolescent Offender's Emotional, Physical and Sexual Maltreatment Profiles and Their Associations to Psychiatric Disorders and Criminal Behaviors


Aebi, Marcel; Linhart, Susanne; Thun-Hohenstein, Leonhard; Bessler, Cornelia; Steinhausen, Hans-Christoph; Plattner, Belinda (2015). Detained Male Adolescent Offender's Emotional, Physical and Sexual Maltreatment Profiles and Their Associations to Psychiatric Disorders and Criminal Behaviors. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43(5):999-1009.

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to analyse patterns of emotional, physical and sexual maltreatment in detained male juvenile offenders using latent class analysis (LCA). The association of maltreatment related LCA profiles with psychopathology and criminal behaviors was also studied. LCA based on the items of the Child Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) assessing childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse was performed in a sample of 260 male adolescent offenders (mean age = 16.5 years, SD = 1.29 years). Chi square tests and general linear models were performed to assess the associations of CTQ profiles with categorical interview-based psychiatric disorders, dimensional Youth Self-Report problem scales, and officially registered offenses. LCA suggested a three class solution: (1) a no/mild trauma (NM; 76 %) (2) emotional and physical trauma (EP; 18 %) and (3) emotional, physical, and sexual trauma (EPS; 8 %). The classes EP and EPS were related to a variety of psychiatric disorders and self-reported mental health problems. Furthermore, EPS showed higher presence of a subsequent re-incarceration compared to NM. A majority of sexually abused juveniles also experienced emotional and physical abuse reflecting gravely disturbed family systems. Multiple abuse in childhood was associated with a broad variety of disorders including externalizing disorders and repeated criminal offending. Such findings indicate that trauma assessment is also relevant in externalizing youth. A comprehensive treatment approach for detained boys with multiple abuse experiences is required targeting both mental health needs and the reduction of criminal behaviors.

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to analyse patterns of emotional, physical and sexual maltreatment in detained male juvenile offenders using latent class analysis (LCA). The association of maltreatment related LCA profiles with psychopathology and criminal behaviors was also studied. LCA based on the items of the Child Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) assessing childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse was performed in a sample of 260 male adolescent offenders (mean age = 16.5 years, SD = 1.29 years). Chi square tests and general linear models were performed to assess the associations of CTQ profiles with categorical interview-based psychiatric disorders, dimensional Youth Self-Report problem scales, and officially registered offenses. LCA suggested a three class solution: (1) a no/mild trauma (NM; 76 %) (2) emotional and physical trauma (EP; 18 %) and (3) emotional, physical, and sexual trauma (EPS; 8 %). The classes EP and EPS were related to a variety of psychiatric disorders and self-reported mental health problems. Furthermore, EPS showed higher presence of a subsequent re-incarceration compared to NM. A majority of sexually abused juveniles also experienced emotional and physical abuse reflecting gravely disturbed family systems. Multiple abuse in childhood was associated with a broad variety of disorders including externalizing disorders and repeated criminal offending. Such findings indicate that trauma assessment is also relevant in externalizing youth. A comprehensive treatment approach for detained boys with multiple abuse experiences is required targeting both mental health needs and the reduction of criminal behaviors.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:06 Feb 2015 10:03
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:57
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0091-0627
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-014-9961-y
PubMed ID:25418616

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