Mental health of adolescents in custody: the use of the 'Adolescent Psychopathology Scale' in a Tasmanian context

Bickel, Rosie, and Campbell, Alistair (2002) Mental health of adolescents in custody: the use of the 'Adolescent Psychopathology Scale' in a Tasmanian context. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 36 (5). pp. 603-609.

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate the incidence of mental health problems based on the DSM-IV among adolescents in custody in Tasmania, using the Adolescent Psychopathology Scale (APS).

Methods: The APS was administered to 50 adolescents admitted consecutively to a youth detention centre in Tasmania, Australia, using a structured interview format.

Results: In this sample 46% scored positively for a mood disorder, 36% for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and 32% for an anxiety disorder excluding PTSD.

Conclusions: Tasmania is no exception to the rule that adolescents in custody have a high proportion of mental health problems. This study confirmed findings of previous studies that detained adolescents had a roughly equivalent level of mental health problems as young people referred to mental health services and five times more than adolescents in the community. Therefore, all detained adolescents should be assessed for mental health problems as their risk is equivalent to that of young people referred to mental health services in the community. Youth detention centres are able to provide significant opportunities for individual therapy and group programmes for young people with mental health problems. However, to achieve a realization of this potential, detention facilities need to develop philosophies and procedures, which facilitate the development of therapeutic, as opposed to 'punishing', environments.

Item ID: 17452
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: adolescents in custody, detained adolescents, mental health problems, psychiatric disorders
ISSN: 1440-1614
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2011 22:58
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 60%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170104 Forensic Psychology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920599 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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