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Walrath C, Ybarra M, Wayne Holden E, Manteuffel B, Santiago R, Leaf P. Female offenders referred for community-based mental health service as compared to other service-referred youth: correlates of conviction. J Adolesc. 2003 Feb;26(1):45-61.


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Data from a large federally supported national evaluation of system-of-care community mental health services were analysed to identify correlates of conviction. Female adolescents with a reported history of criminal conviction (n=88) were compared to three other service-referred youth groups: females without conviction histories (n=664), males with conviction histories (n=199), and males without conviction histories (n=1230) for possible differences in number and type of family, individual, and school-related life challenges. Multinomial regression analyses were first used to compare the quantity of child and family correlates in each conviction group, and then to test specific correlates in the individual, family, and school domains. The conditional odds of reporting a high vs. low number of child correlates was found to be significantly greater for females with a history of conviction compared to all other groups, over and above the number of family risk factors. Further, service-referred females with a conviction history, when compared to other service-referred youth groups, were much more likely to report having experienced a living instability (e.g. history of running away, multiple living arrangements) and personal adverse life events (e.g. history of drug and alcohol use, sexual abuse). Implications for community-based interventions and treatment are discussed.
PMID: 12718960

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