This 3-year follow-up study compares background variables, extent of criminality and criminal recidivism in the form of all court convictions, the use of inpatient care, and number of early deaths in Swedish institutionalized adolescents (N=100) with comorbid substance use disorders (SUD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (n=25) versus those with SUD but no ADHD (n=30), and those without SUD (n=45). In addition it aims to identify whether potential risk factors related to these groups are associated with persistence in violent criminality. Results showed almost no significant differences between the three diagnostic groups, but the SUD plus ADHD group displayed a somewhat more negative outcome with regard to criminality, and the non-SUD group stood out with very few drug related treatment episodes. However, the rate of criminal recidivism was strikingly high in all three groups, and the use of inpatient care as well as the number of untimely deaths recorded in the study population was dramatically increased compared to a age matched general population group. Finally, age at first conviction emerged as the only significant predictor of persistence in violent criminality with an AUC of .69 (CI (95%) .54-.84, p=.02). Regardless of whether SUD, with or without ADHD, is at hand or not, institutionalized adolescents describe a negative course with extensive criminality and frequent episodes of inpatient treatment, and thus requires a more effective treatment than present youth institutions seem to offer today. However, the few differences found between the three groups, do give some support that those with comorbid SUD and ADHD have the worst prognosis with regard to criminality, health, and untimely death, and as such are in need of even more extensive treatment interventions.
There is theoretical and empirical support for co-offending being important not only for understanding current offending but also subsequent offending. The fundamental question is--why? In this article, an aggregate analysis is performed that begins to answer this question. Disaggregating solo- and co-offending by single year of age (12-29 years) and crime type in a largely metropolitan data set from British Columbia, Canada, 2002 to 2006, it is shown that the distribution of co-offences is significantly more varied than the distribution of solo offences. This more varied distribution of co-offences favors property crimes during youth but fades as offenders age.
A retrospective study of the prevalence of child neuropsychiatric disorders was done involving pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and Tourette syndrome in young offenders (15-22 years, n = 126) consecutively referred for presentencing forensic psychiatric investigation (FPI) in Stockholm, Sweden. Most offenders were referred for FPI because of serious offenses. Case report sheets were prepared, and retrospective neuropsychiatric DSM IV diagnoses were made by the first two authors. For best-estimated diagnoses, the case report sheets were then submitted to the fifth author, a child neuropsychiatrist with expertise in this area. Fifteen percent of the subjects had a definite diagnosis of ADHD, and another 15 percent had PDD, including 12 percent PDD not otherwise specified (NOS) and 3 percent Asperger syndrome. Autistic disorder was not found in any case. Tourette syndrome occurred in two percent of the cases. The rate of PDD is particularly striking. Neuropsychiatric diagnoses had been determined in the FPI in only a few cases. The contribution of constitutional problems to later criminal development may have been underestimated.
Recent studies have focused on reading and writing disabilities among inmates in prisons and at juvenile institutions. Some studies in Sweden have demonstrated that more than half of the delinquents have serious reading difficulties, and for immigrants the situation is even worse. However, these studies have focused on small groups. Furthermore, little attention has been paid to different types of reading and writing difficulties. The main purpose of this investigation was to estimate the prevalence of reading and writing disabilities in juvenile institutions. The study analyses gender differences and differences between immigrants and Swedish pupils. The study included 163 pupils from 22 institutions and used three tests of literacy skills: word identification, spelling and reading comprehension. More than 70% showed some problems in reading and spelling. However, only 11% had serious difficulties. Moreover, the results showed that comprehension ability among immigrant boys was lower than among Swedish boys, despite the same level of word reading skill. The high prevalence of reading and writing disabilities seems primarily to be related to social and cultural factors, home backgrounds, limited school attendance and poor self-esteem rather than to constitutional problems of a dyslexic nature. The implication of this conclusion may be important for the intervention process.
This study is focused on psychosocial correlates of youth crime in a sample of 2330 Finnish boys born in 1981. Two kinds of data were combined: questionnaires completed by the boys at call-up in 1999 and crime registered in the Finnish National Police Register between 1998 and 2001. One-fifth of the boys were registered to offending during the 4-year period in late adolescence; 14% were registered for one or two offences, 4% for three to five offences, and 3% for more than five offences. Crime accumulated heavily in those with more than five offences, as they accounted for 68% of all crime. Independent correlates of crime were living in a small community, parents' low educational level and divorce, having a regular relationship, self-reported delinquency, daily smoking, and weekly drunkenness, whereas anxious-depressiveness was reversely associated with crime. Most psychosocial problems covaried linearly with offending frequency, being particularly manifested by multiple recidivists. However, recidivists had very rarely used mental health services. The results indicate that offending and various psychosocial problems accumulate in a small minority of boys not reached by mental health services.