Psychotic-Like Symptoms as a Risk Factor of Violent Recidivism in Detained Male Adolescents

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to prospectively examine whether psychotic-like symptoms (PLSs) are positively associated with violent recidivism and whether this relation is stronger when PLSs co-occur with substance use disorders (SUDs). Participants were 224 detained male adolescents from all youth detention centers in Flanders. The Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children was used to assess PLSs and the number of SUDs. Two to 4 years later, information on official recidivism was obtained. Although hallucinations were unrelated to violent recidivism, paranoid delusions (PDs) and threat/control override delusions (TCODs) were negatively related to violent recidivism. The relation between PLSs and violent recidivism did not become stronger in the presence of SUDs. Detained youths with PLSs do not have a higher risk for violent recidivism than detained youths without PLSs. In contrast, by identifying detained youths with PDs or TCODs, clinicians are likely to identify youths with a low risk for future violent crimes.

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