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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004 Apr;61(4):403-10.

Posttraumatic stress disorder and trauma in youth in juvenile detention.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine prevalence estimates of exposure to trauma and 12-month rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among juvenile detainees by demographic subgroups (sex, race/ethnicity, and age).

DESIGN:

Epidemiologic study of juvenile detainees. Master's level clinical research interviewers administered the PTSD module of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, version IV (DISC-IV), to randomly selected detainees.

SETTING:

A large, temporary detention center for juveniles in Cook County, Illinois (which includes Chicago and surrounding suburbs).

PARTICIPANTS:

Randomly selected, stratified sample of 898 African American, non-Hispanic white, and Hispanic youth (532 males, 366 females, aged 10-18 years) arrested and newly detained.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, version IV.

RESULTS:

Most participants (92.5%) had experienced 1 or more traumas (mean, 14.6 incidents; median, 6 incidents). Significantly more males (93.2%) than females (84.0%) reported at least 1 traumatic experience; 11.2% of the sample met criteria for PTSD in the past year. More than half of the participants with PTSD reported witnessing violence as the precipitating trauma.

CONCLUSION:

Trauma and PTSD seem to be more prevalent among juvenile detainees than in community samples. We recommend directions for research and discuss implications for mental health policy.

PMID:
15066899
PMCID:
PMC2861915
DOI:
10.1001/archpsyc.61.4.403
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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