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[Association between substance abuse problems and antisocial tendencies in male juvenile delinquents: A study using the Psychopathy Checklist, Youth Version].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Forensic Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawa-Higashi, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8551, Japan.



We examined an association between substance abuse problems and antisocial tendencies in male juvenile delinquents.


Subjects were 57 male adolescents consecutively incarcerated between December 2004 and February 2005 in a juvenile classification home. A self-reporting questionnaire was used to assess substance abuse problems in the subjects: Drug abuse problems were assessed by the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST-20), and alcohol abuse problems were assessed by the Quantities-Frequencies Scale (QFS). A semi-structured interview was also preformed according to the Psychopathy Checklist, Youth Version (PCL: YV). Associations between questionnaire responses and interview findings were examined using Pearson's correlation or Spearman's rank correlation test.


Of our subjects, the 17.5% were recognized as a problematic drug abuser, and the 52.6% as a problematic drinker. Neither of the total DAST-20 nor QFS score was significantly correlated with the total PCL: YV score, and also with each score of the four PCL: YV subfactors. However, significant correlations were found between some items on the PCL: YV and the DAST-20 or QFS score. The DAST score was significant correlated with the PCL: YV item, "impression management" (rs=0.35, p<0.001), and the QFS score was significant correlated with "serious violations of conditional release" (rs=0.33, p<0.05) and "criminal versatility" (rs=0.48, p<0.001).


More than a half of male juvenile delinquents had alcohol abuse problems. Alcohol intake may be considered to promote repetition and diversification of their antisocial behaviors, although overall antisocial tendencies were not associated with drug and alcohol abuse problems in male juvenile delinquents.

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