Few juvenile psychiatric disorders are good predictors of future violence, according to a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Researchers examined data from the Northwestern Juvenile Project, a longitudinal study of 1,659 people, aged 13 to 25, who had been detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago between 1995 and 1998. The study's subjects were interviewed multiple times between three and five years after their detention.
While some respondents who had psychiatric illness did report violent behavior, the study found that their behavior was likely influenced by external risk factors that included living in violent neighborhoods.
However, drug addiction among juveniles was associated with an increased rate of future violence, the study found.
“Substance use disorders predicted subsequent violence. Males with other drug use disorder and females with marijuana use disorder three years after detention had greater odds of any violence,” researchers wrote.
The full study is available for purchase HERE.