J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry.  2010 Jun;21(2):95-102.

Psychiatric Characteristics of Adolescents with Minor Offenses and Follow-Up after a 6-Month Protective Disposition

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea. jshun@knu.ac.kr


This study investigated the differences between the psychiatric characteristics of minor juvenile offenders and normal adolescents as well as differences in psychiatric symptoms after a six month protective disposition. Further, the current study aimed at determining psychiatric screening methods for evaluating delinquent adolescents.
The Latent Delinquency Questionnaire (LDQ), the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS), the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), the Reynolds Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire (SIQ), the Piers-Harris Children's Self Concept Inventory (SCI), and the Korean Youth Self Report (K-YSR) were administered to 134 normal adolescents (114 males) and 109 minor offenders (97 males) aged 12 to 16 years. After six months, 46 offenders (all males) completed the RCMAS, CDI, SIQ, and SCI again.
Adolescents with minor offenses had more delinquent, aggressive behavior and externalizing behavior problems, but were significantly less depressive, anxious, or suicidal than normal controls. Further, recidivists had more anxiety, depression, and delinquent behavior than non-recidivists. Minor offenders reported that their anxiety and depressive mood decreased after six months of protective disposition.
Adolescents with minor offenses had more delinquent, aggressive behavior and externalizing behavior problems suggesting that psychiatric screening tools for minor offenders should measure disruptive behavior disorder.


Minor Offender; Delinquent Behavior; Psychiatric Characteristics; Screening; Protective Disposition; Follow-Up Study
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