This study examines group differences in trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and offending among youth solely involved in the juvenile justice system and youth with varying degrees of dual-system involvement.
This study drew from the Developmental Cascade of Multisystem Involvement Framework to examine group differences in trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and offending among youth solely involved in the juvenile justice system and youth with varying degrees of dual-system involvement, including crossover youth, dual-contact youth, and dually-involved youth. The results suggest that categorizing youth as crossover youth based on their own self-reported history of child maltreatment exposure resulted in more observed differences between dual-system youth and youth solely involved in juvenile justice. Recently, scholars have placed increasing effort on better understanding the unique needs of youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The present results have valuable implications for operationalizing youth’s system involvement and highlight the importance of examining child maltreatment as a point of prevention and intervention efforts for these youth. Four-hundred adolescents (25% girls, Mage = 15.97) who were recruited from a detention center and completed self-report measures assessing trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress, and offending. Juvenile justice and child welfare records also were collected. Results indicated that, compared to youth solely involved in the juvenile justice system, crossover youth reported significantly more exposure to traumatic events, more severe posttraumatic stress symptoms, and more self-reported offending. In contrast, results indicated few differences between dual-contact youth and youth solely involved in the juvenile justice system; these groups only differed in age and in recidivism charges. There also were few differences between dually-involved youth and youth solely involved in the juvenile justice system; these groups only differed in age and exposure to non-Criterion A traumatic events. (Published Abstract Provided)
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