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Title: Predicting quality of life during and post detention in incarcerated juveniles
Author(s): E.L. de Ruigh, A. Popma, J.W.R. Twisk, R.W. Wiers, H.S. van der Baan, R.R.J.M. Vermeiren and L.M.C. Jansen
Journal: Quality of Life Research
Year: 2019
Month: March
Day: 14
Volume: 28
Pages: 1813-1823
Affiliation: Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
DOI: 10.1007/s11136-019-02160-6
File URL: /vuams-pubs/Predicting_quality_of_life_during_and_post_detention_in_incarcerated_juveniles.pdf
Keywords: Quality of life · General functioning · Juvenile offender · Trauma · Respiratory sinus arrhythmia
Abstract: Purpose Besides reducing recidivism, juvenile justice institutions aim to rehabilitate juvenile delinquents, in order for them to reintegrate in society. As such, improving quality of life (QoL), especially post detention, is an important treatment goal. However, research is primarily focused on recidivism as an outcome measure for juvenile detention. The aim of the current study is therefore to describe and predict QoL of detained young offenders up to 1 year after an initial assessment, and to examine whether QoL differs between youth who are still detained versus released. Methods A sample of 186 juveniles admitted to juvenile justice institutions in the Netherlands was assessed within the institution (initial assessment/T0), using psychosocial and neurobiological factors as predictors (self-control, treatment motivation, trauma, mental health problems, respiratory sinus arrhythmia). QoL (MANSA), as well as substance use (alcohol, cannabis) and daily activities (education, work) were assessed at first, second, and third follow-up (respectively 2.5 months, 4.5 months, and 12 months after T0). Results QoL increased from first to third follow-up, and was higher for individuals who were no longer detained. The model that best predicted higher QoL upon follow-up consisted of lower trauma and stronger parasympathetic nervous system reactivity. The effects of the predictors did not differ between the various follow-ups, nor between individuals who were or were not detained. Conclusion Methods incorporating trauma-sensitive focus and relaxation techniques in treatment protocols in juvenile justice institutions may be of added value in improving the general functioning of these individuals.

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