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  • 1.
    Azad, Azade
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
    Christianson, Sven Å.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
    Barn och ungdomar minns och berättar detaljerat efter att ha bevittnat dödligt våld2012In: Svensk Juristtidning, ISSN 0039-6591, Vol. 97, p. 746-759Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    De flesta barn som kommer i kontakt med rättsväsendet har utsatts för stressfyllda eller traumatiska händelser. Följaktligen är effekten av starka negativa känslor på minnet och berättandet, av både juridiska och kliniska skäl, av stor vikt att undersöka. I ett pågående forskningsprojekt har vi kartlagt de mönster som präglar barns minnen och berättande när de bevittnat dödligt våld, samt olika bakgrundsfaktorer som kan tänkas påverka barnens vittnesmål. Totalt har vi analyserat polisförhör med över 100 barn och ungdomar i åldrarna 3–17 år. Huvudresultaten visar att barn berättar detaljerat om dessa upplevelser i polisförhör, oavsett ålder och relation till gärningsmannen och/eller offret. Därtill visar resultaten att upprepade förhör leder till ett än mer detaljerat berättande. Det finns således skäl till att reflektera över etablerade uppfattningar angående i vilken utsträckning barn är lojala mot sina föräldrar och av den anledningen tiger om det våld de upplevt i hemmet. Barnets vittnesmål är av stor vikt för att få ett bättre underlag i en brottsutredning och för att försäkra barnets rätt till brottsskadeersättning samt för att domstolarna vid straffvärdesbedömningen ska kunna beakta att ett barn bevittnat brottet.

  • 2.
    Azad, Azade
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Christianson, Sven-Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Selenius, Heidi
    Children's reporting patterns after witnessing homicidal violence - the effect of repeated experience and repeated interviews2014In: Psychology, Crime and Law, ISSN 1068-316X, E-ISSN 1477-2744, Vol. 20, no 5, p. 407-429Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    For both legal and clinical purposes, it is of importance to study children's memories and reports of stressful events. The present study investigated the reporting patterns of 83 children who had witnessed homicidal violence, which is considered to be a highly stressful experience. More specifically, we explored the possible effects of prior violence exposure and of repeated questioning on the amount of details reported. Results showed that the majority of children provided detailed reports about the homicidal violence they had witnessed, including details concerning what happened before, during, and after the violent act. The children provided detailed and vivid testimonies from their experiences, whether they witnessed the event for the first time or had prior experience of witnessing severe violence against the victim by the perpetrator. Children with no prior experience of repeated violence who underwent repeated interviews provided more details than those interviewed once. The present data indicate that children are competent witnesses when questioned in legal contexts after having been exposed to extremely stressful events. These findings have implications for research related to children's memories and reporting of traumatic experiences, as well as practical implications for future treatment and evaluation of children's testimonies.

  • 3.
    Azad, Azade
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
    Ginner Hau, Hanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
    Adolescent females with limited delinquency – At risk of school failure2018In: Children and youth services review, ISSN 0190-7409, E-ISSN 1873-7765, Vol. 95, p. 384-396Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During adolescence, risk behaviors (e.g., running away from home, truancy, alcohol/drug use, and delinquency) increase, and most individuals who at some point commit crimes do so during their teenage years. Since the crime rate is so high during adolescence, juvenile delinquency can be regarded as a normal rather than a deviant behavior. Delinquent females have historically been under-researched. However, the little research that is available indicates that low-risk female offenders (females with limited delinquency receiving community-based measures), may be at risk of suboptimal development. The objective of the present study was to provide a basic description of this group of offenders by using their self-reports on delinquency, drug and alcohol use, school, peers, family and mental health. The self-reports of 138 females between 15 and 20 years of age sentenced to youth service in Stockholm, Sweden, were compared to young females in residential care and to a reference group of adolescent females without known adjustment problems. The results showed that the youth service females did not have a higher number of accumulated problems than the reference group with regard to criminal acts, drug and alcohol use, peers, mental health, and in some regards also for family. However, the youth service group reported various school-related problems and failures, more in line with the residential group. This suggests that interventions aimed at helping the young females develop strategies for becoming more academically successful are important.

  • 4.
    Azad, Azade
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
    Ginner Hau, Hanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
    Adolescent females with limited delinquency: A follow-up on educational attainment and recidivismManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Research has established a strong relationship between an individual’s education and later life outcomes, with, for example, the connection between different school problems and delinquency having been widely acknowledged (e.g., Hirschfield, 2017). These studies have often sampled juvenile offenders exhibiting extensive and/or persistent delinquency, involving mostly males (e.g., Foley, 2001). Less is known about the educational attainment of female juvenile offenders, especially those who display limited delinquency sentenced to non-custodial measures. In a previous study (Azad & Ginner Hau, 2018), we explored the characteristics of this particular group of female offenders, i.e., females sentenced to youth service, and found that they self-reported limited delinquency but elevated school problems. The present aim was to conduct a follow-up study of the same sample of female adolescents, in which educational attainment during adolescence and the rate of recidivism within 24 months after being sentenced were explored through registry data. The results showed that the majority of the females did not reoffend within two years after being sentenced. They did, however, display high educational deficits. Their grade point average at the end of both compulsory education and upper secondary school was much lower than that of young females in general, and the majority (66%) had either dropped out, never begun or received zero in all subjects at the end of upper secondary school. These findings indicate a need for interventions targeting young delinquent females’ educational potential in order to improve their overall life chances.

  • 5.
    Azad, Azade
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
    Ginner Hau, Hanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
    Karlsson, Markus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Adolescent female offenders’ subjective experiences of how peers influence norm-breaking behavior2018In: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, ISSN 0738-0151, E-ISSN 1573-2797, Vol. 35, no 3, p. 257-270Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Delinquent peers have a strong influence on adolescent delinquent behavior. However, few studies have investigated adolescents’, and in particular young females’, own perspectives of the role of peers on their delinquent behavior. The purpose of the present study was to explore how young female offenders described their delinquent behavior and more specifically the role they assign to peer relations in committing or avoiding delinquent acts. Nine female adolescents, sentenced to youth service, were interviewed, and the data was analyzed using the Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) method. The results showed that committing crimes and taking drugs with peers were portrayed as a way for the female delinquents to socialize. Delinquent and pro-social activities with peers appear to serve similar developmental functions in the sense that it is described to fulfill the same developmental needs. The young offenders also described collectively created pressures and norms in the peer group as the main contributing factor to their norm-breaking behavior, where they described being both recipients and producers of influence in the group. Another important finding was that the female offenders showed an awareness of the importance of pro-social peers and the need to eliminate delinquent friends from their peer network in order to help them refrain from deviant behavior. Implications for prevention and intervention are discussed.

  • 6.
    Azad, Azade
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Leander, Lina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Children's Reporting About Sexual Versus Physical Abuse: Patterns of Reporting, Avoidance and Denial2015In: Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, ISSN 1321-8719, E-ISSN 1934-1687, Vol. 22, no 6, p. 890-902Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study analysed the reporting patterns of 22 sexually abused children and 23 physically abused children (all cases had been verified). Police interviews with the children were analysed in relation to the amount and type of information reported, as well as the frequency of denial and avoidance of critical information. Physically and sexually abused children reported more neutral information from the abusive acts per se than information regarding sexual or physically violent acts. The children were also high in avoidance and denial regarding information about the abuse. The physically abused children reported more severe information about physically abusive acts compared with the amount of information the sexually abused children reported about severe sexual acts. An explanation for this may have been the shameful and taboo nature of sexual abuse. It is important to undertake further investigation of how the nature and type of abuse, to which child witnesses have been exposed, may affect the reporting pattern. Such information may broaden our knowledge about how to conduct and evaluate child interviews.

  • 7.
    Azad, Azade
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Leander, Lina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Experts' beliefs about child testimony: Do they match the research or the recommendations?2012In: Nordic Psychology, ISSN 1901-2276, E-ISSN 1904-0016, Vol. 64, no 4, p. 258-271Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The present study examines prosecutors', child investigators', and plaintiff aids' (i.e., important actors during alleged child sexual abuse [CSA] investigations) beliefs about children's testimonies. More specifically, the aim was to examine whether these experts agree (a) with praxis from, for example, the Supreme Court regarding the use of certain credibility criteria when evaluating the reliability of CSA reports; and/or (b) with findings from research on issues of child testimony. The participants (n = 206) were asked to rate how detailed, consistent, and spontaneous they believe children are in their CSA reports; the effects of exposure to repeated abuse; and to indicate their opinion on the optimal number of child interviews. Due to the low response rate, results can only be discussed in terms of possible indications, however, it is interesting to note that the experts had similar opinions on the issues investigated, opinions that were also rather in line with research findings on children's testimony. Although they receive support from the research, some of these opinions are not in line with recommendations made by the Supreme Court or the Pre-trial Order. More research is needed to further examine: (a) the reliability of the credibility criteria recommended by the Swedish Supreme Court; (b) how frequently the Swedish courts actually refer to these credibility criteria; and (c) different experts' (with different functions in the legal process) opinions on these criteria.

  • 8.
    Azad, Azadé
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Characteristics of adolescent females with limited delinquency: Developmental challenges in relation to family, peers and education2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Adolescence is a developmental period marked with several changes in a young person’s life. Most adolescents who commit crimes desist over time. Despite this, research has mainly focused on those with extensive and long-term delinquency, including mostly males. Young females with limited delinquency are thus an under-researched group. The overall aim of the thesis was to explore the characteristics of young females with limited delinquency, and relate these features to developmental aspects of adolescence. Further, the objective was to study potential challenges they experience, in connection to family, peers and school. All four studies were based on data from young females sentenced to youth service. Studies 1 and 2 include all (N=144) females convicted in a major city in Sweden during 2007–2012. The data collected through self-reports based on ADAD interviews at the beginning of youth service in Study 1 was further complemented and followed up in Study 2 with registry data on education and recidivism 24 months after starting their sentence. Studies 3 and 4 were based on in-depth interviews with nine adolescent females who started their sentence between 2012–2013 in one of two major cities in Sweden. The results confirmed the assumption that this group of offenders displayed limited delinquency. Their self-reports in Study 1 showed low involvement in crimes during twelve months prior to youth service, which was similar to the reporting of a reference group of females in general. Displaying limited delinquency was supported by registry data in Study 2, showing that the majority of the females did not reoffend within two years after being sentenced, as measured by suspicion and conviction rates. However, they did show high educational deficits. This was evident both by high levels of self-reported school problems in Study 1 and final grade point in compulsory and upper secondary school in Study 2. Their educational attainment was lower than adolescent females in general, irrespective of whether they reoffended or not. These findings suggest that although the females were limited in their delinquency, their low levels of education could still put them at risk for suboptimal development. In the interviews, participants ascribed particular importance to peers and family when describing their delinquency. The narratives illustrated how the process of delinquency as it concerned interpersonal relations involved mutually influential exchanges, both contributing to as well as being affected by the delinquency. As such, delinquency was, in Study 3, portrayed as a way to socialize, where delinquent peers were considered important for committing crimes, and pro-social peers for desisting. Likewise, family relations in Study 4 were given a prominent role in the entire process. Accordingly, delinquency was described as a consequence of the relations to the family, where these were negatively as well as positively affected by the crimes. The collective results indicate that committing crimes for the females may be viewed as part of normative development, in which the quest for independence and establishing ones’ identity can contribute to these behaviors. Practical implications for work with young female offenders are also discussed.

  • 9.
    Christianson, Sven å.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Azad, Azade
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Leander, Lina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Selenius, Heidi
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Children as Witnesses to Homicidal Violence: What They Remember and Report2013In: Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, ISSN 1321-8719, E-ISSN 1934-1687, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 366-383Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The present study investigated how 96 children who have witnessed homicidal violence remember and report their experiences. The aims of the study were to describe the children's reporting pattern and to investigate background factors that could affect the children's reporting. Police interviews with the children were analysed regarding the amount and type of information reported, as well as frequency of denial, withholding and claims of memory loss. Results showed that the majority of children provided detailed reports about the homicidal violence they had witnessed, including critical details about the abuse. Results also revealed that the child's relationship to the perpetrator or the victim did not affect the children's reporting pattern, indicating that the children's willingness to report exceeds strong impact factors such as loyalty conflicts. These findings are applicable in different legal contexts dealing with child witnesses and can be used as guidance when interviewing children and evaluating their testimony.

  • 10.
    Ginner Hau, Hanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
    Azad, Azade
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Adolescent female offenders’ subjective experiences of their families’ roles in relation to their delinquencyManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Family factors have been regarded as central for both general development and delinquency in adolescence. For female delinquency, family factors appear to be particularly important. The aim of the study was to explore young female offenders’ perspectives on their family contexts in relation to their delinquency. Nine female offenders aged 15-21 were interviewed. Data were analysed using consensual qualitative research. Nine core themes concerning the family were identified that included general descriptions of the family and family roles in relation to delinquency. Descriptions of the families were heterogeneous, but in the delinquency-specific themes, common patterns concerning the process of delinquency and relational aspects were identified. Families were described as being involved in the entire process of delinquency. Relational aspects expressed in the delinquency narratives demonstrated attempts for proximity as well as distance. Another relational aspect was delinquency-related transactions between the participants and their families. Participants’ perspectives of the role of their family contexts in relation to delinquency conveyed aspects typical of adolescence, which might be a possible way to understand the role that the family context plays in delinquency.

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