Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 97–105 | Cite as

The Coincidence of Depression and High Ability in Delinquent Youth

  • Louis P. MessierEmail author
  • Thomas J. Ward


We describe the incidence and coincidence of depression and high ability in a sample of Virginia's incarcerated delinquent youth population. Specifically, 207 incarcerated juveniles were assessed with the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices and the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI). The data indicated there were as many high ability juveniles in detention settings as would be expected in a regular population. Results from the CDI identified 37% as at risk for clinical depression. Cross-tabulation of the data indicated a significant relationship between high ability and depression in the delinquent population. In addition, the findings indicated that the presence of depression is related to the ability level of the juvenile. That high ability delinquents may be more vulnerable to depression argues that the coincidence of these conditions requires consideration. Based upon these findings, and given the high correlation suicide has with depression, we suggest that screening for depression should be mandatory for incarcerated delinquents.

depression incarcerated juveniles high ability Children's Depression Inventory Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationCollege of William and MaryWilliamsburg
  2. 2.School of EducationCollege of William and MaryWilliamsburg

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