Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 67–73 | Cite as

Mental Health and Dangerousness: Characteristics and Outcomes of Children and Adolescents in Residential Placements

  • John S. Lyons
  • Katherine Schaefer


Violence has been identified as a significant risk behavior among children and adolescents. Dangerousness is a factor in psychiatric hospitalizations and out-of-community placements. However, there is only a small amount of research that has investigated the mental health co-morbidities and treatment outcomes of violent children and adolescents. A random sample of children and adolescents in residential placements through the State of Florida's child welfare system were studied. Cases were classified into three levels of dangerousness. Results indicated that dangerousness was associated with much elevated mental health co-morbidity. Also, cases who were dangerous at the time of admission had less developed peer and moral/spiritual strengths than did other cases. Although dangerous cases had worse dispositional outcomes, there was strong evidence that these cases derived the most clinical benefit from residential treatment.

violence dangerousness residential placements mental health co-morbidity 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • John S. Lyons
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katherine Schaefer
    • 3
  1. 1.Mental Health Services and Policy Program, Institute for Health Services Research & Policy StudiesNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Mental Health Services and Policy Program, Institute for Health Services Research and Policy StudiesNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Larkin CenterChicago

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