The Path from Trauma to Misconduct: A Path Analysis of Factors Associated with Traumatic Exposure and Institutional Misconduct in Detained Juveniles

Maria C Jimenez-Salazar, Fordham University

Abstract

The current study aimed to examine the path from traumatic event exposure to institutional misconduct (IM), considering the relative contributions of trauma reactions and mental problems, in a sample of 174 detained adolescents (ages 12 to 17). To do so, the study utilized official detention intake screening data and disciplinary violation records. Through a series of Poisson regression analyses, the study examined (1) the direct effect of traumatic event exposure on IM; (2) the direct effects of trauma reactions and mental health problems on IM, accounting for the effect of traumatic event exposure and other covariates; and (3) the presence of indirect effects of traumatic event exposure on IM, through trauma reactions and mental health problems, respectively. Study results indicated that trauma reactions and mental health problems did not help explain the association between traumatic event exposure and IM. The most noteworthy finding was that traumatic event exposure was a unique and significant predictor of IM, after controlling for demographic factors, lengths of detention stays, trauma reactions, and mental health symptoms. This finding could help shape intake assessment procedures in detention centers, in an effort to reduce IM and improve the safety of adolescents and staff. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Jimenez-Salazar, Maria C, "The Path from Trauma to Misconduct: A Path Analysis of Factors Associated with Traumatic Exposure and Institutional Misconduct in Detained Juveniles" (2018). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10932150.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10932150

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