Psychotropic medication and at-risk youth: Studying its protective effects on delinquent behavior
Hoskowitz, Natalie A.
MetadataShow full item record
Children witnessing violence and directly experiencing abuse and neglect are at high risk for a number of deleterious outcomes, including psychiatric disorders and involvement in the foster care and juvenile justice systems (JJS; Cuevas, Finkelhor, Shattuck, Turner, & Hamby, 2013; Sickmund & Puzzanchera, 2014). These studies emphasize the need for effective treatment programs to address the challenges facing these youth, for which an increasingly attractive option is long-term administration of psychotropic medications. Most research to date examines the utility of such medication in the short-term (Dailey, Townsend, Dysken, & Kuskowski, 2005; Loy, Merry, Hetrick, & Stasiak, 2013), but with mixed evidence as to the long-term positive gains these medications impart on reducing delinquent behaviors, including involvement in the JJS. This study sought to examine how psychotropic medication influenced total delinquent behaviors in a given year, as well as entry into the JJS, over a seven-year time period with a sample of at-risk youth. Data were taken from the National Study of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) database. Results indicate that, when controlling for a proxy of socioeconomic status, baseline externalizing behavior, and the child’s gender and race, psychotropic medication treatment of at-risk youth did not appear to exert a protective effect on their engagement in delinquent behaviors over a seven-year time span. That is, while delinquent behaviors decreased over time, it was not due to the medication regimen of the youth. Further, psychotropic medication treatment of at-risk youth does not appear to exert a protective effect on these youths’ entry into the JJS over a seven-year time span. That is, youth who were either consistently- or inconsistently-medicated were at significantly increased risk of entry into the JJS – up to 9.3 times higher risk for consistently medicated youth – particularly within the first 20 months of the study. Further, while such risk stabilized after the two-year mark, youth who received psychotropic medication remained at higher risk than never-medicated youth, particularly if the medication regimen was consistent. Explanations, and implications of, these findings are discussed, as well as future directions for research
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
McCaleb, Joe B. (Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT), 1994)
Hughes, Ray (Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT), 1996)
Caring, Law Enforcement-Oriented Aspects of Crime Preventing Among High-Risk Youth in Houston, Texas Jackson, Phymeon, S. (Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT), 1995)