Adverse Childhood Experiences, Personality, and Crime: Distinct Associations Among a High-Risk Sample of Institutionalized Youth

Adverse Childhood Experiences, Personality, and Crime: Distinct Associations Among a High-Risk Sample of Institutionalized Youth

Adverse Childhood Experiences, Personality, and Crime: Distinct Associations Among a High-Risk Sample of Institutionalized Youth

Individual presentation98Delfine D'Huart, Psychiatric University Hospitals. The Netherlands

Room 4FThu 14:00 - 15:30

Background:
Despite high rates of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and personality-related disturbances among delinquent juveniles, associations among ACEs, youth personality, and juvenile crime involvement are still unclear. High-risk samples of institutionalized youth are in specific need of a comprehensive assessment of ACEs and personality features in order to broaden the current knowledge on the occurrence and persistence of juvenile crime and to derive implications for prevention and intervention.

Aims: This talk will focus on the question of whether and how ACEs and different aspects of youth personality influence future crime involvement.

Methods:
342 adolescents (35.1% females) aged between 12 and 18 years (M = 15.74, SD = 1.61 years) living in child-welfare or juvenile-justice institutions, were examined regarding cumulative ACEs, psychopathic traits, temperament, clinical personality disorder ratings, and criminal involvement before and up to 10 years after assessment.

Results:
We found considerable rates of ACEs, although cumulative ACEs did not predict future crime. Latent Profile Analysis based derived six distinct personality profiles, which were differently related to ACEs, personality disturbances, clinical psychopathology, and future delinquency. A socially difficult personality profile was associated with increased risk of future crime, whereas avoidant personality traits appeared protective.

Conclusion: Findings indicate that the role of ACEs in the prediction of juvenile delinquency is still not sufficiently clear and that relying on single personality traits alone is insufficient in the explanation of juvenile crime.
Co-author: Steffen Barra, Marcel Aebi, Klaus Schmeck, Marc Schmid, Cyril Boonmann

Life course perspectives in youth forensic psychiatry
adverse childhood experiences, child welfare and juvenile-justice institutions, delinquency, personality
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