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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93719 Find in a Library
Title: Health Profiles of Early Adolescent Delinquents
Journal: Public Health Reports  Volume:98  Issue:5  Dated:(September-October 1983)  Pages:449-457
Author(s): J S Palfrey; W Karniski; S Clarke; M Tomaselli; L J Meltzer; M D Levine
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This comparison of the health status of 53 delinquent and 51 nondelinquent boys found that 57 percent of the delinquents, as compared with 20 percent of the nondelinquents, had experienced two or more serious adverse health events.
Abstract: Over a 1-year period, July 1979-July 1980, 53 boys were drawn sequentially from white, English-speaking boys between the ages of 13 and 16 who had been recently committed to the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services. a comparison population of 51 boys was drawn from the public junior high schools of Watertwon, Mass., a community with demographic characteristics typical of the towns of the recently committed boys. Both samples were assessed by means of a physical examination, a neurodevelopmental examination, educational testing, and several health questionnaires. The delinquents' parents were interviewed in their homes. The parents of the nondelinquents were sent a questionnaire that included questions similar to those used in the interviews with the delinquents' parents. A health profile developed for each youth consisted of adolescent health concerns, past medical history, physical examination results, and the source of health care. The health concerns rating was derived from a self-administered questionnaire which required the boys to assess their own health status and indicate whether they had concerns in any area. Fifty-seven percent of the delinquents compared with 20 percent of the nondelinquents had experienced two or more serious adverse health events, such as hospitalization, loss of consciousness, or an automobile accident. Physical examinations revealed many more conditions requiring intervention for the delinquents. Thirty-four percent of the delinquents either had no medical care or had used only the emergency room, as contrasted with only 8 percent of the nondelinquents. An overall health index used to compare the two groups remained statistically significant for a subset of 16 pairs matched on socioeconomic indicators. These results do not imply an etiological link between health status and delinquency, but they do suggest a strong de facto link which indicates the need for effective planning for the health care of those youth in the juvenile justice system. Tabular data and 36 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Inmate health; Male juvenile delinquents; Massachusetts
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