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NCJ Number: 229227 Find in a Library
Title: Confluence of Mental Health and Psychopathic Traits in Adolescent Female Offenders
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:37  Issue:1  Dated:January 2010  Pages:119-135
Author(s): Nathan E. Cook; Trevor H. Barese; Frank Dicataldo
Date Published: January 2010
Page Count: 17
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated the relation among psychopathic traits, violence, and mental health needs among a sample of juvenile offenders.
Abstract: The findings of the study suggest gender differences in the manifestation of psychopathic traits among juvenile offenders. Female offenders scoring high and low on the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV) did not differ in the use of proactive violence, whereas male offenders did. In addition, a stronger relation between mental health needs and psychopathic traits was found among girls than among boys. Girls with high PCL:YV total and Lifestyle-Antisocial features scores were more likely than boys to have histories of psychiatric hospitalization. The most compelling implication of these findings was that the construct of psychopathy manifests differently in female adolescents than in male adolescents. Although research in the area of psychopathic traits among juveniles is increasing, the relation between such traits and mental disorders in adolescence remains an area in need of study. Further, female adolescents, given their increased mental health needs and increasing rates of violence, appear to constitute a special population in juvenile justice in need of research. This study examined issues related to the applicability of the psychopathy construct to adolescent female offenders and explored the interaction of psychopathic traits and mental health needs. Information was gathered from 100 youth offenders, 50 female and 50 male, committed to a State juvenile justice agency. Case file information was used to score the PCL:YV, and additional archival data were used to code offense and mental health variables. Figure, tables, and references
Main Term(s): Adolescents at risk
Index Term(s): Adolescent females; Adolescent males; Female juvenile delinquents; Gender issues; Juvenile mental health services; Juvenile offenders; Juvenile psychological evaluation; Mental health; Violence; Violence causes
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