skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 220325 Find in a Library
Title: Psychiatric Symptoms and Substance Use Among Juvenile Offenders: A Latent Profile Investigation
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:34  Issue:10  Dated:October 2007  Pages:1296-1312
Author(s): Michael G. Vaughn; Stacey Freedenthal; Jeffrey M. Jenson; Matthew O. Howard
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Latent profile analysis was used to identify subgroups of juvenile offenders in a statewide sample (n=723) based on clinically relevant measures of psychiatric symptoms, lifetime substance use, and problems that stemmed from the use of psychoactive substances.
Abstract: Study findings show that juvenile offenders exhibit significant variation in the severity and persistence of mental health and substance-use problems, with four classes distinguished by the presence and severity of these variables. Class 1 was moderately low in psychiatric symptoms and co-occurring substance-use problems; whereas class 2 was moderately high in psychological distress and related problem behavior. For these two classes, there were significant differences regarding substance-use variables, but these differences were less pronounced compared to the differences in psychiatric symptoms found. Class 3 was relatively free of psychiatric symptoms, but had severe problems with substance use, and class 4 had high levels of psychiatric symptoms, but less severe substance-use problems. The range of the four classes showed pronounced differences between a severely distressed subgroup of 81 youth (11 percent) and a larger subgroup (n=195) of juvenile offenders characterized by mild psychiatric symptoms and mostly experimental substance use and low levels of problem behavior. Of particular concern for the juvenile justice system is the severe class that self-reported high levels of violence, delinquency involvement, substance use, and other problem behaviors. Intensive mental health and substance use services are required for this group. The authors discuss treatment efficiency, policymaking for juvenile offenders, and future taxonomic studies of juvenile offenders. Study participants were drawn from the residential rehabilitation services of the Missouri Division of Youth Services in 2000. This population is representative of incarcerated youth nationally in terms of the average age and gender distribution, percentage of delinquent compared with status offenders, and the rate of State youth currently incarcerated. 4 tables, 1 figure, and 53 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile offender classification
Index Term(s): Juvenile drug use; Juvenile mental health services; Mental disorders; Mental health; Offender profiles; Underage Drinking
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.