Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 477–486 | Cite as

Ethnic Variation of Self-reported Psychopathology Among Incarcerated Youth

  • Niranjan S. Karnik
  • Pamela A. Jones
  • Amy E. Campanaro
  • Rudy Haapanen
  • Hans Steiner


Research on ethnic minority populations has shown them to be undertreated, underdiagnosed and perceived as more psychopathological in comparison to the Caucasian population. This study aimed to assess ethnic variation of self-perceived psychopathology in a population of incarcerated youths. The Youth Self-Report (YSR) was completed by 5964 incarcerated adolescents (95% male; mean age = 16.5) in the California Youth Authority (CYA) system. Overall, ethnic minorities (African-Americans and Hispanics) self-report lower levels of psychiatric problems than Caucasians. These differences were more pronounced in males than females. Further research is needed to better ascertain the reasons for these differences.


delinquency ethnicity psychopathology gender 



The authors wish to thank Mónica M. Pacheco and Elizabeth Cauffman for their input into the research for this paper. This research was supported by grants from The California Wellness Foundation–Violence Prevention Initiative and the National Institute of Justice to Dr. Steiner. The authors would also like to thank our collaborators from the California Youth Authority for their valuable help and contributions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niranjan S. Karnik
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
  • Pamela A. Jones
    • 3
  • Amy E. Campanaro
    • 4
  • Rudy Haapanen
    • 5
  • Hans Steiner
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of Child & Adolescent PsychiatryStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anthropology, History & Social Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan FransiscoUSA
  3. 3.clinical practiceAlamedaUSA
  4. 4.New York State Psychiatric InstituteColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of ResearchCalifornia Youth AuthoritySacramentoUSA
  6. 6.Center for Psychiatry & the LawStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  7. 7.Division of Child & Adolescent PsychiatryStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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