Many, more, most: Four risk profiles of adolescents in residential care with major psychiatric problems

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The development of delinquent behaviour is largely determined by the presence of (multiple) risk factors. It is essential to focus on the patterns of co-occurring risk factors in different subgroups in order to better understand disruptive behaviour.
The aim of this study was to examine whether subgroups could be identified to obtain more insight into the patterns of co-occurring risk factors in a population of adolescents in residential care. Based on the results of prior studies, at least one subgroup with many risk factors in multiple domains and one subgroup with primarily risk factors in a single domain were expected.
The structured assessment of violence risk in youth and the juvenile forensic profile were used to operationalize eleven risk factors in four domains: individual, family, peer and school. Data from 270 male adolescents admitted to a hospital for youth forensic psychiatry and orthopsychiatry in the Netherlands were available. Latent class analysis was used to identify subgroups and significant differences between the subgroups were examined in more detail.
Based on the fit statistics and the clinical interpretability, the four-class model was chosen. The four classes had different patterns of co-occurring risk factors, and differed in the included external variables such as psychopathology and criminal behaviour.
Two groups were found with many risk factors in multiple domains and two groups with fewer (but still several) risk factors in single domains. This study shed light on the complexity of disruptive behaviour, providing a better insight into the patterns of co-occurring risk factors in a heterogeneous population of adolescents with major psychiatric problems admitted to residential care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number63
JournalChild and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


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