Perceptions of Recidivism Among Incarcerated Youth: The Relationship Between Exposure to Childhood Trauma, Mental Health Status, and the Protective Effect of Mental Health Services in Juvenile Justice Settings
Research suggests that youth involved the juvenile justice system have trauma histories that are two times higher than the general youth population. Juvenile justice-involved youth also have high rates of mental health symptoms. Fewer studies have examined how trauma links to mental health symptoms among youth offenders, and even less research focuses on how mental health status and service delivery can impact their perceived likelihood for success. This study examines the effects of mental health screening and service delivery on perceived future criminal justice interactions— arrest and incarceration—among adjudicated youth (n=7,073) housed in correctional facilities. Secondary data were used to examine trauma histories, mental health needs, and mental health screening and service delivery. Significant relationships between traumatic events and mental health problems were found, along with relationships between mental health problems and mental health screening and service delivery. Most interestingly, results pointed to the strong inverse relationship between mental health service delivery and youth’s perceived likelihood for recidivism. These findings show the promise of juvenile justice systems appropriately responding to the mental health concerns of youth.
Abram, K. M., Teplin, L., Charles, D., Longworth, S., McClelland, G., & Dulcan, M. (2004). Posttraumatic stress disorder and trauma in youth in juvenile detention. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61(4), 403-410. doi: http://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.61.4.403
APA Presidential Task Force on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma in Children and Adolescents. (2008). Children and trauma: Update for mental health professionals. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
American Psychiatric Association [APA]. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. doi: https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Becker, S. P., & Kerig, P. K. (2011). Posttraumatic stress symptoms are associated with the frequency and severity of delinquency among detained boys. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 40, 1-7. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2011.597091
Bennett, D. C., & Kerig, P. K. (2014). Investigating the construct of trauma-related acquired callousness among delinquent youth: Differences in emotion processing. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 27, 415-422. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.21931
Berliner, L., & Kolko, D. J. (2016). Trauma informed care: A commentary and critique. Child Maltreatment, 21(2), 168-172. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1077559516643785
Bolger, K. E., & Patterson, C. J. (2001). Pathways from child maltreatment to internalizing problems: Perceptions of control as mediators and moderators. Development and Psychopathology, 13(4), 913-940. doi: http://doi.org/0009-3920/2001/7202-0015
Burke, J. D., Mulvey, E. P., & Schubert, C. A. (2015). Prevalence of mental health problems and service use among first-time juvenile offenders. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(12), 3774-3781. doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0185-8
Caprara, G., Vecchione, M., Barbaranelli, C., & Alessandri, G. (2013). Emotional stability and affective self-regulatory efficacy beliefs: Proofs of integration between trait theory and social cognitive theory. European Journal of Personality, 27(2), 145-154. doi: http://doi.org/10.1002/per.1847
Cohen, J. A., Mannarino, A. P., Jankowski, K., Rosenberg, S., Kodya, S., & Wolford, G. L. (2016). A randomized implementation study of trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy for adjudicated teens in residential treatment facilities. Child Maltreatment, 21(2), 156-167. doi: http://doi.org/10.1177/1077559515624775
Cohen, J., Mannarino, A. P., & Deblinger, E. (2006). Treating trauma and traumatic grief in children and adolescents. New York: Guilford.
Coleman, D. (2005). Trauma and incarcerated youth. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 2(3-4), 113-124. doi: http://doi.org/10.1300/J394v02n03_08
Coleman, D., & Stewart, L. M. (2010). Prevalence and impact of childhood maltreatment in incarcerated youth. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80(3), 343-349. doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-0025.2010.01038.x
Costello, E. J., Mustillo, S., Erkanli, A., Keeler, G., & Angold, A. (2003). Prevalence and development of psychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60(8), 837-844. doi: http://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.60.8.837
Crosby, S. D. (2016). Trauma-informed approaches to juvenile justice: A critical race perspective. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 67(1), 5-18. doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/jfcj.12052
Day, D. M. (2002). Examining the therapeutic utility of restraints and seclusion with children and youth: The role of theory and research in practice. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 72(2), 266-278. doi: http://doi.org/0.1037//0002-94188.8.131.526
DeLisi, M., Drury, A. J., Kosloski, A. E., Caudill, J. W., Conis, P. J., Anderson, C. A., … Beaver, K. M. (2009). The cycle of violence behind bars: Traumatization and institutional misconduct among juvenile delinquents in confinement. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 8(2), 107-121. doi: http://doi.org/10.1177/1541204009349399
Donisch, K., Bray, C., & Gewirtz, A. (2016). Child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, and education providers’ conceptualizations of trauma informed practice. Child Maltreatment, 21(2), 125-134. doi: http://doi.org/10.1177/1077559516633304
Dowden, C., & Andrews, D. A. (1999). What works in young offender treatment: A meta analysis. Forum on Corrections Research, 11(2), 21-24. Correctional Service of Canada. Retrieved from http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/pblct/forum/e112/112e_e.pdf
Evans, C. B. R., & Burton, D. L. (2013). Five types of child maltreatment and subsequent delinquency: Physical neglect as the most significant predictor. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 6(4), 231-245. doi: http://doi.org/10.1080/19361521.2013.837567
Farmer, E. M. Z., Burns, B. J., Phillips, S. D., Angold, A., & Costello, E. J. (2003). Pathways into and through mental health services for children and adolescents. Psychiatric Services, 54(1), 60-66. doi: http://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.54.1.60
Fazel, S., Doll, H., & Långström, N. (2008). Mental disorders among adolescents in juvenile detention and correctional facilities: A systematic review and metaregression analysis of 25 surveys. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 47(9), 1010-1019. doi: http://doi.org/10.1097/CHI.ObO13e31817eecf3
Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R., Turner, H., & Hamby, S. L. (2005). The victimization of children and youth: A comprehensive, national survey. Child Maltreatment, 10(1), 5-25. doi: http://doi.org/10.1177/1077559504271287
Ford, J. D., Chapman, J., Mack, J. M., & Pearson, G. (2006). Pathways from traumatic child victimization to delinquency: Implications for juvenile and permanency court proceedings and decisions. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 57(1), 13-26. doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-6988.2006.tb00111.x
Ford, J. D., Chapman, J., Connor, D. F., & Cruise, K. R. (2012). Complex trauma and aggression in secure juvenile justice settings. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 39, 694-724. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0093854812436957
Ford, J. D., Grasso, D. J., Hawke, J., & Chapman, J. F. (2013). Poly-victimization among juvenile justice-involved youths. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37, 788-800. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.01.005
Ford J. D., Hawke J., Chapman J. C. (2010). Complex psychological trauma among juvenile justice-involved youth. Farmington, CT: University of Connecticut.
Ford, J. D., Kerig, P. K., Desai, N., & Feirman, J. (2016). Psychosocial interventions for traumatized youth in the juvenile justice system: Research, evidence base, and clinical/legal challenges. OJJDP Journal of Juvenile Justice, 5(1), 31-49.
Green, J. G., McLaughlin, K. A., Berglund, P. A., Gruber, M. J., Sampson, N. A., Zaslavsky, A. M., & Kessler, R. C. (2010). Childhood adversities and adult psychopathology in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) I: Associations with first onset of DSM-IV disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 67(2), 113. https://doi.org/10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.186
Grisso, T., & Barnum, R. (2006). Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument, Version 2 (MAYSI-2): User’s manual and technical report (Rev. ed.). Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press.
Grisso, T., Barnum, R., Fletcher, K. E., Cauffman, E., & Peuschold, D. (2001). Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument for Mental Health Needs of Juvenile Justice Youths. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 40(5), 541-548. doi: https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200105000-00013
Grisso, T., Vincent, G., & Seagrave, D. (2005). Mental health screening and assessment in juvenile justice. New York: Guilford Press.
Hazen, A. L., Connelly, C. D., Roesch, S. C., Hough, R. L., & Landsverk, J. A.(2009). Child maltreatment profiles and adjustment problems in high-risk adolescents. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24(2), 361-378. doi: http://doi.org/10.1177/0886260508316476
Higgins, D. J., & McCabe, M. P. (2003). Maltreatment and family dysfunction in childhood and the subsequent adjustment of children and adults. Journal of Family Violence, 18(2), 107-120. doi: http://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022841215113
Hodge, A., & Yoder, J. (Manuscript submitted for publication). Mediating effects of trauma on relationship between externalizing behavior and punitive incarceration responses.
Kaslow, N. J., & Thompson, M. P. (1998). Applying the criteria for empirically supported treatments to studies of psychosocial interventions for child and adolescent depression. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 27(2), 146-155. doi: http://doi.org/10.1207/s15374424jccp2702_2
Kendall, P. C., Reber, M., McLeer, S., Epps, J., & Ronan, K. R. (1990). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of conduct-disordered children. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 14(3), 279-297. doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/BF01183997
Kerig, P. K. (2012). Trauma and juvenile delinquency: Dynamics and developmental mechanisms. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, 5, 83-87. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/19361521.2012.671743
Kerig, P. K., & Bennett, D. C. (2013). Beyond fear, helplessness, and horror: Peritraumatic reactions associated with posttraumatic stress symptoms among traumatized delinquent youth. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 5, 431-438. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0029609
Kerig, P. K., Ward, R. M., Vanderzee, K. L., & Moeddel, M. A. (2008). Posttraumatic stress as a mediator of the relationship between trauma and mental health problems among juvenile delinquents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38(9), 1214-1225. doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-008-93325
Ko, S. J., Ford, J. D., Kassam-Adams, N., Berkowitz, S. J., Wilson, C., Wong, M., … Layne, C. M. (2008). Creating trauma-informed systems: Child welfare, education, first responders, health care, juvenile justice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 39(4), 396-404. doi: http://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7028.39.4.396
Liebenberg, L., & Ungar, M. (2014). A comparison of service use among youth involved with juvenile justice and mental health. Children and Youth Services Review, 39, 117–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.02.007
Lipsey, M. W. (1999). Can intervention rehabilitate serious delinquents? The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 564(1), 142-166. doi: http://doi.org/10.1177/000271629956400109
Lowenkamp, C. T., Latessa, E. J., & Smith, P. (2006). Does correctional program quality really matter? The impact of adhering to the principles of effective intervention. Criminology & Public Policy, 5(3), 575-594. doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9133.2006.00388.x
Lowenkamp, C. T., Makarios, M. D., Latessa, E. J., Lemke, R., & Smith, P. (2010). Community corrections facilities for juvenile offenders in Ohio: An examination of treatment integrity and recidivism. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 37(6), 695-708. doi: http://doi.org/10.1177/0093854810363721
Martin, G., Bergen, H. A., Richardson, A. S., Roeger, L., & Allison, S. (2004). Sexual abuse and suicidality: Gender differences in a large community sample of adolescents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 28(5), 491-503. doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2003.08.006
Maschi, T., Hatcher, S. S., Schwalbe, C. S., & Rosato, N. S. (2008). Mapping the social service pathways of youth to and through the juvenile justice system: A comprehensive review. Children and Youth Services Review, 30(12), 1376-1385. doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2008.04.006
Mason, P. T., & Magnan, A. (1995). It’s clear: Seclusion is controversial. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 8(2), 48. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6171.1995.tb00533.x
McCarthy, P. J. (1996). Replication: An approach to the analysis of data from complex surveys. Vital and Health Statistics, P.H.S. Pub. No. 1000 Series 2-No. 14, Public Health Service, Rockville, MD.
McCoy, H. (2011). A path analysis of factors influencing racial differences on the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Version 2. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 50(3), 119-141. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10509674.2011.560549
McGloin, J. M., & Widom, C. S. (2001). Resilience among abused and neglected children grown up. Development and Psychopathology, 13(4), 1021-1038. doi:https://doi.org/10.1017/S095457940100414X
McLaughlin K.A., Greif Green J., Gruber M.J., Sampson N.A., Zaslavsky A.M., & Kessler R.C. (2012). Childhood adversities and first onset of psychiatric disorders in a national sample of US adolescents. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69(11), 1151-1160. doi: http://doi.org/10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.2277
Merikangas, K. R., He, J., Burstein, M., Swendsen, J., Avenevoli, S., Case, B., … Olfson, M. (2011). Service utilization for lifetime mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: Results of the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 50(1), 32-45. doi:http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2010.10.006
Pumariega, A. J., Atkins, D. L., Rogers, K., Montgomery, L., Nybro, C., Caesar, R., & Millus, D. (1999). Mental health and incarcerated youth. II: Service utilization. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 8(2), 205-215. doi:http://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022092002435
Runyon, M. K., & Kenny, M. C. (2002). Relationship of attributional style, depression, and posttraumatic distress among children who suffered physical or sexual abuse. Child Maltreatment, 7(3), 254-264. doi:http://doi.org/10.1177/1077559502007003007
Sabri, B. (2011). Severity of victimization and co-occurring mental health disorders among substance using adolescents. Child & Youth Care Forum, 41(1), 37-55. doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-011-9151-9
Sacks, S., Ries, R. K., & Ziedonis, D. M. (2005). Substance abuse treatment for persons with co-occurring disorders (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Schwalbe, C. S., & Maschi, T. (2011). Confronting delinquency: Probations officers’ use of coercion and client-centered tactics to foster youth compliance. Crime & Delinquency, 57(5), 801-822. doi: http://doi.org/10.1177/0011128709335150
Sedlak, A. (2003). Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (SYRP) [United States]. ICPSR34304-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor]. doi: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34304.v1
Sedlak, A. J., Bruce, C., Cantor, D., Ditton, P., Hartge, J., Krawchuk, S., McPherson, K., & Shapiro, G. (2012). Survey of youth in residential placement: Technical report. SYRP Report. Rockville, MD: Westat.
Sedlak, A. J., & McPherson, K. S. (2010). Youth’s needs and services: Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement. Juvenile Justice Bulletin.
Shaffer, D., Fisher, P., Lucas, C. P., Dulcan, M. K., & Schwab-Stone, M. E. (2000). NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children Version IV (NIMH DISC-IV): Description, differences from previous versions, and reliability of some common diagnoses. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 39(1), 28-38. doi: http://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200001000-00014
Skowyra, K., & Cocozza, J. J. (2006). A blueprint for change: Improving the system response to youth with mental health needs involved with the juvenile justice system. National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Delmar, NY. Retrieved from https://www.ncmhjj.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2006_A-Blueprint-for-Change.pdf
Smith, C., & Thornberry, T. P. (1995). The relationship between childhood maltreatment and adolescent involvement in delinquency. Criminology, 33(4), 451-481. doi:http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9125.1995.tb01186.x
StataCorp, L. P. (2013). Stata multilevel mixed-effects reference manual. College Station (Texas): Stata Press. Retrieved from http://www.exercicescorriges.com/i_392775.pdf
Swank, J. M., & Gagnon, J. C. (2016). Mental health services in juvenile correctional facilities: A national survey of clinical staff. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(9), 2862- 2872. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0436-3
Teplin, L. A., Abram, K. M., McClelland, G. M., Dulcan, M. K., & Mericle, A. A. (2002). Psychiatric disorders in youth in juvenile detention. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59(12), 1133-1143. doi: http://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.59.12.1133
Underwood, L. A., & Washington, A. (2016). Mental illness and juvenile offenders. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13, 228-242. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13020228
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform. (2004). Incarceration of youth who are waiting for community mental health services in the United States. Washington, DC.
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform. (2005). Incarceration of youth who are waiting for community mental health services in California. Washington DC. Retrieved from https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/download/incarceration-of-youth-who-are-waiting-for-community-mental-health-services
Wallinius, M., Johansson, P., Lardén, M., & Dernevik, M. (2011). Self-serving cognitive distortions and antisocial behavior among adults and adolescents. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 38(3), 286-301. doi: http://doi.org/10.1177/0093854810396139
Wallis, K. C., & Poulton, J. L. (2001). Internalization: The origins and construction of internal reality. Open University Press: Philadelphia, PA.
Wasserman, G. A., McReynolds, L. S., Lucas, C. P., Fisher, P., & Santos, L. (2002). The voice DISC-IV with incarcerated male youths: Prevalence of disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 41(3), 314-321. doi: https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200203000-00011
Widom, C. S. (1992). The cycle of violence. Science, 244, 160-166. doi: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.2704995
Widom, C. S., & Maxfield, M. G. (2001). An update on the “cycle of violence.” US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice Washington, DC. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/184894.pdf
Wolf, M. R., Green, S. A., Nochajski, T. H., Mendel, W. E., & Kusmaul, N. S. (2013). ‘We’re civil servants’: The status of trauma-informed care in the community. Journal of Social Services, 40(1), 111-120. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2013.845131
Copyright to works published in Advances in Social Work is retained by the author(s).