Link Between Trauma and Delinquency
S.P. Becker & P.K. Kerig, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms are Associated with the Frequency and Severity of Delinquency Among Detained Boys, 40 J. of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychol. 765 (2011).
- To investigate a sample of detained boys in order to determine if there is a link between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and the number and severity of prior arrests.
- Researchers conducted interviews with detained youth in private interview rooms at a detention facility.
- Researchers administered questionnaires that assessed trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms. Delinquency was measured using official arrest records. Investigators examined the number of lifetime arrests, the severity of lifetime delinquency, the number of past-year arrests and the severity of past-year delinquency.
- 25.3% of boys reported experiencing community violence, 19.3% reported domestic violence and 19.2% reported witnessing community violence.
- PTSD symptoms significantly predicted the number of lifetime arrests, the number of arrests in the past year and the severity of delinquency in the past year.
- Findings suggest that trauma and PTSD symptoms are linked to delinquency.
- Findings demonstrate that a high number of youth in the juvenile justice system are exposed to trauma and experience PTSD symptoms.
- Findings suggest that juvenile justice stakeholders should pay more attention to the needs of youth in the delinquency system who are exposed to trauma.