Risky or needy? Dynamic risk factors and delinquent behavior of adolescents in secure residential youth care

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Although it is known that adolescents in secure residential care often show multiple behavior problems, it is largely unknown which dynamic risk factors are associated with their problems. The aim of the present study is to examine dynamic risk factors for 164 Dutch adolescents in secure residential care. Results show that a majority reports multiple risk factors in both an individual and contextual domain but that about a fifth shows relatively few risk factors. Substance abuse and delinquent friends were among the five most prevalent risk factors and predicted the seriousness of the adolescents’ delinquent behavior prior to admission. The four groups that were found by cluster analysis could be distinguished by problem type and seriousness. The findings indicate that treatment for some adolescents should be mainly focused on their individual needs, while other adolescents need intensive, multimodal treatment focusing on both risks in the individual, family, and peer domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1065
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number10
Early online date21-Apr-2014
Publication statusPublished - 11-Aug-2015

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