Mental Health Disorders: The Neglected Risk Factor in Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile Delinquency: Prevention, Assessment, and Intervention, 85-110, 2005

26 Pages Posted: 31 May 2014

See all articles by Naomi Goldstein

Naomi Goldstein

Drexel University

Oluseyi Olubadewo

Independent

Richard E. Redding

Chapman University

Frances Lexcen

University of Washington, Tacoma

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

Once a neglected area of study, the relationship between mental health and delinquency has recently become a major focus in juvenile justice jurisprudence. Attention to the mental health of juvenile delinquents is particularly important because rates of mental illness in this population are substantially higher than those found in the general adolescent population. The rate of mental illness in the general adolescent population is approximately 20%, and although estimates in the juvenile offender population vary greatly, rates are at least twice those associated with nonoffending youth. This chapter reports the prevalence and characteristics of common mental health disorders in this population and describes the most promising mental health treatment options for juvenile delinquents. Further, risk factors that predispose juveniles to delinquent behavior and mental health problems are reviewed. Finally, the higher rates of mental health-related problems among female juvenile offenders are addressed.

Keywords: mental health, psychiatric disorders, risk factors, juvenile delinquency, juvenile justice, juvenile offenders, prevalence, epidemiology

Suggested Citation

Goldstein, Naomi and Olubadewo, Oluseyi and Redding, Richard E. and Lexcen, Frances, Mental Health Disorders: The Neglected Risk Factor in Juvenile Delinquency (2005). Juvenile Delinquency: Prevention, Assessment, and Intervention, 85-110, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2398584

Naomi Goldstein

Drexel University ( email )

3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Oluseyi Olubadewo

Independent ( email )

Richard E. Redding (Contact Author)

Chapman University ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States
714-628-2688 (Phone)
714-628-2564 (Fax)

Frances Lexcen

University of Washington, Tacoma ( email )

1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA 98402-3100
United States

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