Published December 22, 2016
Congratulations to Assistant Professor Patricia Logan-Green and co-authors on the publication of their article, "Childhood Adversity Among Court-Involved Youth: Heterogeneous Needs for Prevention and Treatment," in the Journal of Juvenile Justice.
Logan-Greene, P., Kim, B.K.E., & Nurius, P. (2016). Childhood adversity among court-involved youth: Heterogeneous needs for prevention and treatment. Journal of Juvenile Justice.
Although experiences of trauma and adversity are highly prevalent among juvenile justice–involved youth, few studies examine the heterogeneity of these histories across individuals. This study seeks to inform practitioners of the distinct patterns of adversity among this vulnerable population, using an expanded measure of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Latent Class Analysis was employed to test for meaningful subgroups of youth based on histories of childhood adversity. The sample (N = 5,378) consisted of youth on probation in a western United States county. The best-fitting model contained six classes, described as: Low All (40.3%), Parental Substance Use and Incarceration (12.0%), Poverty and Parental Health Problems (13.2%), High Family Conflict and SES (socioeconomic status) (15.3%), High Maltreatment (11.0%), and High All (8.1%). Additional testing revealed significant differences across classes in terms of age, gender, race/ethnicity, and living situations. Results strongly support the need to incorporate a trauma-informed framework into both juvenile justice and community service settings as well as to tailor interventions to meet heterogeneous needs of court-involved youth. Striking variation in the forms and levels of childhood adversity argue for the value of screening for ACEs in conjunction with poverty and working to interrupt problematic trajectories in adolescence and the transition to adulthood.