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An Investigation of Putative Mental Health Need in a Population of Young People who Offend

By Karen Elizabeth McKeown


The full text of this dissertation is available only to University of Leicester members. Please log in with your CFS username and password when prompted.The current study aimed to investigate the prevalence and nature of mental health need and associations with offending status in a sample of 12-17 year old community based offenders (N = 87).\ud Based on existing research, it was hypothesised that the study sample would present with substantially greater need than has been found in normative samples of same-age young people with females presenting with greater needs than males. Prevalence rates and assessment/interpretive techniques vary greatly within studies. As such the current study aimed to assess the impact of three different interpretive parameters on calculations of prevalence.\ud Information on mental health need was derived from screening data administered at the point of referral to community youth justice services and using a combination of structured tools and clinical judgement. Data was analysed using non-parametric methods through SPSS for Windows (15).\ud Findings confirmed greater putative mental health need within the study sample largely characterised by sub-clinical depression. However, prevalence rates varied greatly depending on the interpretive parameter employed. Descriptive data suggested greater need within the female sub-sample although gender differences were not significant. No association was found between mental health and offending status. \ud Implications for practitioners and future research are discussed.University of Leiceste

Year: 2009
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