Research Reports - Traumatic brain injury, mental health, substance use, and offending among incarcerated young people

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2013 May 7

Moore E, Indig D, Haysom L

OBJECTIVE:: Despite being at high risk, little is known about traumatic brain
injuries (TBIs) among incarcerated young people. This study aims to describe the
prevalence of TBI among incarcerated young people and assess the association with
mental health, substance use, and offending behaviors. SETTING:: The 2009 NSW
Young People in Custody Health Survey was conducted in 9 juvenile detention
centers. PARTICIPANTS:: A total of 361 young people agreed to participate,
representing 80% of all incarcerated young people. MAIN MEASURES:: Young people
were asked if they ever had a head injury where they became unconscious or
"blacked-out." The survey used the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders for
Children to assess for psychiatric disorders, the Alcohol Use Disorder
Identification Test, and the Severity of Dependence Scale to measure problematic
substance use. RESULTS:: The sample comprised 88% man, 48% Aboriginal, with an
average age of 17 years. One-third (32%) of young people reported ever
experiencing a TBI, and 13% reported multiple TBIs. The majority (92%) of "most
serious" TBIs were defined as mild, and the most common cause was an assault (62%
woman, 34% man). Young people who reported a history of TBI (compared with those
reporting no TBI) were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with a mental
health disorder, psychological distress, a history of bullying, problematic
substance use, participation in fights, and offending behaviors. Reporting
multiple (>2) TBIs conferred a higher risk of psychological disorders and
problematic substance use. CONCLUSIONS:: Incarcerated young people have high
rates of TBI. Enhanced detection of TBI among incarcerated young people will
assist clinicians in addressing the associated psychosocial sequelae.

« Back to Special Reports

Contact Us

We will gladly answer all or your questions about rehabilitation at Centre for Neuro Skills.


phone 1.800.922.4994
or Request a Callback

brain injury store

free brain injury newsletter

why choose cns for brain injury rehabilitation

brain injury newsletter

brain injury store