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Predictors of Recidivism among Delinquent Youth: Interrelations among Ethnicity, Gender, Age, Mental Health Problems, and Posttraumatic Stress

Abstract

This study investigated the interrelations among mental health problems, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), age, ethnicity, gender, and recidivism over a three-year period in a sample of 417 male and 170 female juvenile offenders. At the time of first admission to a juvenile detention center, boys reported higher alcohol/drug use, whereas girls reported greater anger/irritability. Caucasian offenders evidenced higher rates of alcohol/drug use and somatic complaints than African American offenders. Younger age was related to higher levels of anger/irritability and depression/anxiety, although older adolescents with PTSD reported the highest levels of alcohol/drug use, anger/irritability, somatic complaints, and depression/anxiety. Across multiple admissions to detention, alcohol/drug use increased for all youth, whereas somatic complaints decreased for boys only. Younger offenders were more likely to recidivate than older offenders; however, girls and younger African American youth with PTSD were more likely to reoffend than were their peers.

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Correspondence to Stephen P. Becker.

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Becker, S.P., Kerig, P.K., Lim, JY. et al. Predictors of Recidivism among Delinquent Youth: Interrelations among Ethnicity, Gender, Age, Mental Health Problems, and Posttraumatic Stress. Journ Child Adol Trauma 5, 145–160 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1080/19361521.2012.671798

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/19361521.2012.671798

Keywords

  • trauma
  • PTSD
  • mental health
  • delinquency