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Psychiatric Disorders and Violence: A Study of Delinquent Youth After Detention

NCJ Number
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Volume: 54 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2015 Pages: 302-312
Katherine S. Elkington; Linda A. Teplin; Karen M. Abram; Jessica A. Jakubowski; Mina K. Dulcan; Leah J. Welty
Date Published
April 2015
11 pages
This longitudinal study of 1,659 youth from the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (Chicago) examined the link between psychiatric disorders and violence in these youth after detention.
The study concludes that aside from substance-use disorders, the psychiatric disorders studied may not be useful markers of subsequent violence; however, violence assessment and reduction must be key components of ongoing psychiatric services to high-risk youth. The study found that rates of any violence decreased between 3 and 5 years after detention; the decrease was from 35 percent to 21 percent for males and from 20 percent to 17 percent for females. There was a contemporaneous relationship between psychiatric disorder and violence. Compared to the group with no disorder, males and females with any disorder had a greater probability of any violence. All specific disorders were associated contemporaneously with violence, except for major depressive disorder/dysthymia among males. Substance-use disorders predicted subsequent violence. Males with drug-use disorder and females with marijuana-use disorder 3 years after detention had a greater probability of any violence 2 years later. (Publisher abstract modified)