This study aims at establishing a comparative psychological profile of male and female adolescents at the moment of the application of measures in juvenile centers in Québec (centres jeunesse du Québec, CJQ) as well as their family and social characteristics. The study compares 213 adolescents (12-17 years old) receiving services in CJQ in accordance with the juvenile offenders act (Loi sur les jeunes contrevenants), with 213 adolescents from high schools of impoverished neighbourhoods. Results reveal serious problems of adaptation, external disorders and interiorized disorders and a regular substance abuse among many juvenile offenders. These problems are much more frequent in CJQ than within the juvenile population. The situation of these adolescents is worrisome, given that a high prevalence of depression and sexual victimisation is also observed in females. Finally, families whose adolescent receives services in CJQ have less financial, personal and social resources, as well as more difficulty exercising their parental role compared to parents in the general population. In conclusion, recommendations are proposed concerning psychosocial services necessary for these adolescents and their families.
The study sought to determine whether maltreatment subtypes, family sexuality, and personal characteristics predicted and distinguished child problematic sexual behaviors (PSB) and externalizing problems (EP). Participants were families of 188 children, 6-11 years old, referred by child welfare services in four Quebec districts. Caregivers completed interviews and questionnaires. Results suggested that family environment and maltreatment subtypes had partially different impacts on PSB and EP. When EP and gender were controlled, younger children in a sexualized family environment and those verbally victimized were more likely to exhibit PSB. When PSB and gender were controlled, verbal abuse and neglect emerged as predictors of EP. Potential implications for child PSB research and interventions are discussed.
There are two factors that limit our knowledge of the risk factors associated with homelessness among runaway adolescents, namely (1) the samples used are often composed of youth homeless service users and/or youths living on the streets (visible homelessness), whereas most adolescents in fact use "private" resources (hidden homelessness), and (2) failure to use an adequate control group to identify risk factors associated specifically with homelessness. Our study compares the characteristics of two groups of youths under the supervision of the youth protection system, according to the presence or absence of periods of homelessness. The results throw light on the factors underlying the shift from "at risk" to "homeless", showing that youths with experience of homelessness are more likely to have been placed in substitute home environments, have experienced significant relationship difficulties with one of their parents (deterioration of the parent/youth relationship and parental abuse) and to have been diagnosed with behavioural disorders. The findings suggest that the decision to place young people under supervision is based more on the dynamic between risk factors rather than on the existence of behavioural problems.
This study focuses on the impacts of serial transitions on externalized and internalized behavior disorders, anxiety, and depression among children in child protection services. The research was carried out with a sample of 741 children. The findings demonstrate that the number of times a family is blended is a stronger predictive factor for children's adjustment than is the family structure at the time of the interview. In predicting externalized and internalized behavior problems among children, however, the effect of family structure disappears in favor of the variables associated with family functioning and family climate.
The purpose of this study was to identify personal and family predictors and correlates of persistence of problematic sexual behaviors (PSB) in children. Participants were the families of 49 children (ages 4-11 years) referred by Child Protective Services in 4 administrative districts of Quebec. Caregivers completed interviews and questionnaires twice at a 1-year interval. Results showed that 43% of children persisted with PSB. When age was controlled, greater exposure to sexualized behaviors in the family proved both a correlate and a predictor of PSB persistence in children 12 months later. Externalizing problems and somatic complaints emerged as correlates of PSB as well. Maltreatment subtypes did not predict PSB persistence.
Research has yielded contradictory results on the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and later parental functioning. This study was undertaken to specify the link between childhood sexual abuse and maternal parenting, while taking into account mothers' childhood physical and emotional traumas and current depressive and dissociative symptoms. Data were collected through self-report measures completed by 93 French-speaking Canadian mothers of children aged 6 to 11 years referred to Youth Protection Services. Parental behaviors examined included involvement with the child, use of positive reinforcement, lack of monitoring and supervision of the child, inconsistency in applying discipline, and use of corporal punishment. Mothers' perception of the quality of the relationship with her child was also assessed. In addition, history of abuse and neglect, depression and dissociation were respectively measured with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Diagnostic Interview Schedule Simplified, and the Dissociative Experiences Scale. The short-form of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale was used to control for respondent bias aimed at minimizing their problems. Mothers' current depressive symptoms were not found to predict any of the parental dimensions measured. Results from multiple hierarchical regressions pointed to dissociative symptoms as the key predictor of parental practices and attitudes. More specifically, dissociative symptoms predicted the use of positive reinforcement, lack of monitoring and supervision of the child, inconsistency in applying discipline, and use of corporal punishment. Dissociation also mediated the association between childhood maltreatment (physical and emotional abuse and neglect) and inconsistency in applying discipline. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
To describe symptomatology and specific psychological, social, and academic adaptation in adolescents with depressive disorder and comorbid disruptive behaviour disorder, as well as their family situation.
Using binomial logistic regressions, this study compares adolescents with depressive disorder and comorbid disruptive behaviour disorder (n=25) with adolescents with the same behaviour problems but no comorbid depressive disorder (n=99). Sex-specific interaction impacts are examined.
While both groups have several similar characteristics, youth with a dual diagnosis have more oppositional symptoms and poorer self-esteem. Analyses show no interaction impact from sex variable.
Adolescents in both groups would benefit from similar interventions regarding disruptive behaviour disorders and some related problems, such as using psychoactive drugs, socializing with delinquent peers, and difficulty functioning in school. Adolescents with a comorbid depressive disorder need special attention, given the more significant oppositional symptomatology and the poorer self-esteem.
This study examines the relationship between two explanatory factors connected to the phenomena of runaways and the homeless among adolescents: behavioral problems of youths and parental violence to which they are subjected. The study demonstrates that these two factors are independently related to the different categories of homeless and runaway adolescents.
The data was collected from 130 adolescents (12 to 17 years of age) who were runaways for short periods on a recurring basis. Two subgroups were formed: Group A consisted of 79 adolescents who did not exhibit behavioral problems; Group B consisted of the other 51 who did exhibit them. The two groups had certain similar family characteristics (income levels, parents' occupations, structure and stability of the family).
The bivariate analyses reveal significant differences between the two groups of runaways relating to: (1) gender, (2) a diagnosed conduct disorder, (3) affiliations with deviant peers, and (4) experiences of parental violence. The discriminant analysis demonstrates that these four variables clearly differentiate the two groups of runaways and predict the appropriate group membership for 84% of the cases. Therefore, the members of Group B have a higher probability of being diagnosed as having a conduct disorder, being male, and associating with delinquent peers. This group had not experienced a higher level of parental violence. The opposite is true for the members of Group A.
Our study demonstrates that parental violence and behavioral problems are variables that are independently related to the defined categories of runaways. Therefore, these variables do not constitute, as some thinkers have claimed, the components of a unique dynamic able to explain the phenomenon of the runaway. Our results vitiate the doubts sometimes expressed by researchers about the importance of parental violence to the phenomenon of adolescent runaways.