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Different problems – same treatment: Swedish juvenile offenders in community-based rehabilitative programmes
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Social Welfare, ISSN 1369-6866, E-ISSN 1468-2397, Vol. 20, no 1, 87-96 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Young delinquents may be regarded as children in need of rehabilitation or as offenders deserving of consequences proportional to the committed crime. The focus has increasingly been on the latter, while research shows that individual risk assessment is essential for effective rehabilitation. This study explored self-reported history of antisocial behaviour among Swedish male offenders 15-17 years of age (n=189) who were sentenced to participate in rehabilitative programmes conducted by local social services. Antisocial behaviour was extensive and, according to a principal component analysis, consisted of three dimensions: (i) adolescent delinquency; (ii) violence and theft, (iii) drug-related crimes. Using cluster analysis, the participants were divided into four subgroups representing different levels and characteristics of delinquency, which explained 73 per cent of the variance in antisocial behaviour. The conclusion is that assignment to rehabilitative programmes appeared unrelated to subgroups, i.e. to risk level. Organisational obstacles to an evidence based practice are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 20, no 1, 87-96 p.
Keyword [en]
antisocial behaviour, juvenile offenders, adolescence, developmental psychology, youth justice, self-ratings
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42458DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2397.2009.00697.xISI: 000284894500010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-42458DiVA: diva2:346493
Available from: 2010-09-10 Created: 2010-09-01 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Swedish young offenders in community-based rehabilitative programmes: Patterns of antisocial behaviour, mental health, and recidivism
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Swedish young offenders in community-based rehabilitative programmes: Patterns of antisocial behaviour, mental health, and recidivism
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to explore patterns of antisocial behaviour, mental health and recidivism among Swedish young offenders in community-based rehabilitative programmes (n=189). Study I explored the character and severity of self-reported behavioural problems prior to programme participation.  Four distinct subgroups were identified: subgroup (SG) 1 (n=60), boys exhibiting adolescent delinquency; SG 2 (n=65), boys exhibi­ting pronounced adolescent delinquency; SG 3 (n=48), boys exhibiting pronounced adolescent delinquency as well as criminality including violence; SG 4 (n=16), boys exhibiting pronounced adolescent delinquency as well as criminality including violence and drug-related crimes.

Study II investigated the mental health of the participants, by means of the Strengths and Difficulty Questionnaire (SDQ). When relating SDQ-scores to the previously identified subgroups, SG 1 with the least prominent history of antisocial behaviour was found to resemble a normative sample, while the subgroups with more extensive histories of antisocial behaviour had significantly elevated scores on the hyperactivity/inattention and conduct problem scales.

Study III investigated recidivism in criminality in the 18-months following programme start, finding that 60% of the participants had been registered as suspected of new crimes. SG 3 and 4 with the most extensive histories of antisocial behaviour were responsible for a significantly larger part of recidivism than expected. By contrast, SG 1, reporting the least antisocial behaviour in their past, was responsible for a significantly smaller part of the recidivism. This was true for all crimes as well as crimes of violence specifically, confirming the subgroups identified based on the self-reports.

The results are related to developmental theories of antisocial behaviour and to contemporary research on risk assessment. Implications for the practice of rehabilitation of convicted young offenders are discussed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2010. 67 p.
Keyword
Young offenders, Rehabilitation, Adolescence, Developmental psychology, Prevention, Risk assessment, Juvenile justice, Recidivism, Mental health
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42465 (URN)978-91-7447-120-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-10-01, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: In press Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Submitted.Available from: 2010-09-09 Created: 2010-09-01 Last updated: 2010-09-10Bibliographically approved

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