Exploring associations between head injury and violence in juvenile offenders and investigating the role of protective factors in their desistance from offending

Kerr, Laura (2021) Exploring associations between head injury and violence in juvenile offenders and investigating the role of protective factors in their desistance from offending. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Chapter One
Background: Head injury (HI) is more common among juvenile offenders than in young people who do not offend. HI may be associated with cognitive, behavioural, and affective changes that can lead to criminal behaviours, including violent offences.
Aim: To systematically review the literature on associations between HI and violent offending in juveniles. Duration of loss of consciousness (LOC) and the number of injuries sustained were considered as potential influencing factors.
Methods: Four electronic databases were systematically searched from the date they began to 23rd January 2021 (Medline, EMBASE, PsychINFO and CINAHL). An additional hand search of the references of relevant papers was conducted. Studies were rated as having a low or high risk of bias using predetermined criteria.
Results: Eight studies were reviewed. Four high quality and two low quality found no significant association between HI and violent offending. Two low quality studies with a high risk of bias reported that presence of HI, LOC, and the number of HIs were significantly associated with more severe violent offences.
Conclusion: There is no clear evidence for an association between HI and violent offending in juvenile offenders. Further research is required.

Chapter Two
Background: Evidence suggests that desistance from offending is more likely for those who possess protective factors. Determining the presence or absence of protective factors is therefore valuable when assessing the criminogenic risk of juvenile offenders.
Aim: This research examines relationships between protective factors and desistance in juvenile offenders who also have mental health difficulties. There is a paucity of research examining the role of protective factors in clinical, community samples. Findings are hoped to inform clinical practice in terms of understanding protective factors in risk assessment and associated risk management approaches.
Methods: An observational, retrospective longitudinal design was employed using secondary data. Data included risk and protective factor scores on the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) from 82 juvenile offenders with mental health needs. Participants were aged 12-18 and had attended a community based Forensic Mental Health Service for an assessment at some point between March 2015 and January 2020. Outcome data were desistance from any type of offending and desistance from violent offending at 6-months post their SAVRY being conducted. Chi-square analyses explored associations between protective factors and desistance. Mann-Whitney U analyses investigated any differences between desistors/non-desistors and the number of protective factors present. Binary logistic regression and ROC analyses examined the predictive validity of protective factors in determining desistance.
Results: Neither the presence of at least one protective factor nor the total number of protective factors were associated with desistance. The SAVRY Protective Domain did not predict desistance or add incremental value to risk scales. In predicting desistance by the number of protective factors held, a significant interaction was observed between juveniles considered low-risk and high-risk of reoffending.
Conclusions: Protective factors were not associated with desistance in a sample of juvenile offenders with additional mental health needs. The odds of desisting for juveniles considered low-risk of reoffending were increased when the number of protective factors were greater, although the opposite was observed for juveniles considered high-risk. Methodological limitations are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Juvenile, violence, offending, head injury, traumatic brain injury risk assessment, protective factors, juveniles, offending, mental health, desistance.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McMillan, Professor Thomas and Love, Dr. Leighanne
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Miss Laura Kerr
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82174
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 May 2021 15:39
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2022 14:50
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82174
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/82174

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