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Presented at the 19th Annual Research Conference

Understanding the Interplay between Aggression, Mental Health, and Juvenile Justice Involvement

We're sorry, handouts are not available for this presentation.

Session Number: 41 Room: Salon B

Presentation Type: symposium

Chair: Kelly N Graves Discussant: Jennifer Schufelt

Synopsis: Researchers have documented that between 40% to 90% of children and adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system also suffer from a mental illness compared to 18% to 22% of the general youth population. An added concern is that juvenile justice programs that serve youth with SED have the confounding problems of elevated delinquency and drug use among this mentally ill population. In this symposium, both cross-sectional and longitudinal data are utilized to understand the overlap between mental health and juvenile justice involvement. Furthermore, clinically-relevant, risk and protective factors are highlighted that may influence whether those children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with a serious emotional disturbance also become involved in the juvenile justice system due to delinquency, aggression, and drug use. Risk and protective factors presented span multiple domains within the child’s life (e.g., individual, family, school variables) and analyses also are discussed based on gender. Policy recommendations regarding greater system-wide collaboration are offered.

Date: Friday, February 24, 2006

Session Time: 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Presentation Time: 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Factors Associated with Both Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Involvement among Children with Severe Emotional Disturbance

Download Handouts: 3.4mb pdf

Presenting: Kelly Graves; James Frabutt

All Authors for this paper: Kelly Graves; James Frabutt; Terri Shelton

Presentation Type: element of symposium

Synopsis: Recent research has highlighted the fact that there is an over-representation of children with mental health problems in the juvenile justice system. Thus, the current study uses a clinical sample of children receiving mental health services to examine demographic (e.g., age, ethnicity), person-level (e.g., anxious/depressed), family-level (e.g., number of transitions in living situations), and school-level factors associated with being involved in both the mental health and juvenile justice service systems (i.e., dual involvement). Analyses were conducted separately by gender to investigate differences in dual involvement as well as possible differences in the predictors of dual involvement. For both boys and girls, older adolescents and a higher number of living transitions were associated with dual-involvement. For girls only, depression/anxiety and social problems were associated with dual-involvement. The findings highlight the need for greater collaboration among service systems given the strong overlap between mental health and juvenile justice involvement for many children.

Drug Use and Delinquency Behavior among Youth with Serious Emotional Disorders

Download Handouts: 56kb pdf

Presenting: Elizabeth Marsal; Maria Fernandez

All Authors for this paper: Elizabeth Marsal; Maria Fernandez; Kelly Graves

Presentation Type: element of symposium

Synopsis: The proportion of youth with mental disorders in detention centers is high, with estimates ranging from 30% to 70%. A major concern of programs serving youth with serious emotional disorders is the reduction of delinquency behavior to decrease the likelihood of incarceration of individuals in this population. Drug use has been found to be positively associated with delinquent behavior. In this paper we analyzed data obtained from youth enrolled in two system of care projects in North Carolina to identify its influence on delinquency behavior.

Family-Level Protective Factors Associated with Adolescent Aggression

Download Handouts: 1.2mb pdf

Presenting: Kelly Graves; Terri Shelton

All Authors for this paper: Kelly Graves; Terri Shelton; James Frabutt

Presentation Type: element of symposium

Synopsis: This study uses longitudinal data to examine the associations among family-level protective factors and aggression during adolescence. Participants were 864 clinically-referred adolescents and their primary caregivers recruited from a community mental health clinic. Hierarchical multiple regressions indicated that the relation between protective factors and aggression was moderated by adolescent age in some cases. Both warmth and problem solving abilities were linked to decreases in aggression for younger adolescents only while behavioral control and family involvement were related to aggression for all adolescents. A hypothesis of domain-specific protective factors is proposed, positing that protective factors based in a given domain (i.e., home, school, or community) exert their protective influence specifically on behaviors manifested within that given domain.