Research Reports - The relationship between traumatic brain injury and criminality in juvenile offenders

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2017 Jan 5. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000274. [Epub ahead
of print]

Gordon WA(1), Spielman LA, Hahn-Ketter AE, Sy KT.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and
criminal behavior in youth who are incarcerated or on probation in Texas.
SETTING: Seven juvenile justice facilities.
PARTICIPANTS: Juvenile offenders in state or county correctional facilities or on
DESIGN: Screening for TBI was conducted among adolescents at 7 juvenile justice
MAIN MEASURES: Participants were administered the Brain Injury Screening
Questionnaire, and results were linked to participants' offense history and
psychiatric diagnoses.
RESULTS: One in 4 juvenile offenders met criteria for TBI, and the majority of
injuries occurred prior to the adolescents' criminal offenses. A history of TBI
was related to more violent crimes, as well as more mental health diagnoses and
CONCLUSION: The high rates of TBI and levels of distress found in juvenile
offenders suggest a need for preventive actions, interventions to compensate for
challenges related to TBI, and programs to assist individuals' transitions into
the community. 

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