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Assessing Mental Health Problems Among Serious Delinquents Committed to the California Youth Authority, 1997-1999 (ICPSR 4337) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This study was conducted to explore the usefulness of the instruments used in the California Youth Authority's (CYA) Treatment Needs Assessment (TNA) battery. A total of 836 wards who completed screening questionnaires were followed to determine whether they were subsequently placed in mental health programs, were prescribed medications used to treat serious mental health problems, and/or were identified by staff as requiring these services. Data for this study were collected from hard-copy files maintained in CYA ward institutions and the CYA central office. Specific variables include the scale scores of the four instruments used in the TNA, demographic variables of the ward, treatment received by the ward, and ward behavior.

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Dataset(s)

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Study Description

Citation

Haapanen, Rudy, and Hans Steiner. ASSESSING MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS AMONG SERIOUS DELINQUENTS COMMITTED TO THE CALIFORNIA YOUTH AUTHORITY, 1997-1999. ICPSR04337-v1. Sacramento, CA: California Youth Authority [producer], 1999. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-16. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04337.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (98-CE-VX-0024)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   correctional facilities (juveniles), juvenile crime, juvenile detention, juvenile inmates, juvenile offenders, mental health, mental health services, treatment programs, youthful offenders

Smallest Geographic Unit:   none

Geographic Coverage:   California, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1997-10--1999-06

Date of Collection:  

  • 1997-10--1999-06

Unit of Observation:   individual

Universe:   All juveniles committed to the California Youth Authority (CYA) from October 1997 through June 1999.

Data Types:   administrative records data, clinical data, survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The purpose of the study was to explore the usefulness of the California Youth Authority's (CYA) mental health and substance abuse screening process for identifying wards for whom mental health intervention is needed and for profiling the aggregate mental health treatment needs of incoming wards. The study focused on the ability of the instruments in the Treatment Needs Assessment (TNA) battery to identify wards whose mental health problems rose to the level that services were considered appropriate during the next 12 to 18 months of their CYA stays, but who may have been missed by standard clinical processes.

Study Design:   In order to explore the usefulness of the Treatment Needs Assessment (TNA) battery in identifying wards needing mental health intervention, wards who completed screening questionnaires were followed to determine whether they were subsequently placed in mental health programs, prescribed medications used to treat serious mental health problems, and/or identified by staff as requiring these services (placed on a waiting list, identified as having suicidal tendencies, etc.). The study consisted of 836 wards (664 males and 172 females) who completed the TNA battery. The TNA battery included four self-report assessments to be filled out by the ward: the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist--Youth Self Report (YSR), the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument: Second Version (MAYSI-2), the Weinberger Adjustment Inventory (WAI), and the Drug Experience Questionnaire (DEQ). The TNA Questionnaires are administered during the educational testing phase of the clinic process with 8 to 15 wards at a time by casework staff at the reception centers. They are then machine scored, using optical mark reader (Scantron) technology and a tailor-made scoring program. The scoring program produces a hard-copy printout that is forwarded to casework staff for review. Information on mental health evaluations, treatment, and medications as obtained from hard-copy files maintained at ward institutions and in the CYA central office. The data on mental health treatment were used to determine whether the TNA instruments provided an early "heads up" regarding treatment needs.

Sample:   When the study was conducted, from October 1997 through June 1999, approximately 5,000 wards were in the custody of the California Youth Authority (CYA). During this time period, 978 wards were committed to the CYA. Commitment to the CYA is expected to be limited to juveniles who commit very serious crimes, who have extensive criminal histories, and/or who have failed (often multiple times) at local interventions. The sample consisted of two intake cohorts of wards committed to the California Youth Authority (CYA) who completed the Treatment Needs Assessment (TNA) battery during the diagnostic clinic process. The male cohort (n = 664) consisted of wards entering commitment to the CYA who completed the TNA battery from October 1998 through February 1999. The female cohort (n = 172) consisted of wards entering commitment to the CYA who completed the TNA battery from October 1997 through June 1999. The 142 wards committed to CYA between October 1997 and June 1999 who did not complete the TNA battery are not included in the study.

Weight:   none

Mode of Data Collection:   record abstracts

Data Source:

Data were collected from hard-copy files maintained at California Youth Authority (CYA) ward institutions and the CYA central office.

Description of Variables:   These data contain demographic variables on the wards including age, sex, ethnicity, date of birth, age at intake, and county of residence at commitment. Further variables on the wards include primary commitment offense, date of first admission, court of commitment, county of commitment, where the Treatment Needs Assessment (TNA) was administered, the reason for incarceration, total prior offenses, and types of prior offenses. Variables related to the mental health treatment that a ward received include any intensive treatment program, any specialized treatment program, any prescriptions for psychtropic medications, suicide risk assessment results, and global assessment of functioning levels. Variables related to ward behavior include ward assaults, staff assaults, sexual misconduct, suicidal activity, aggressive behavior and other misconduct handled through the Disciplinary Decision-Making System (DDMS). Finally, the scale scores from the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist--Youth Self Report (YSR), the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument: Second Version (MAYSI-2), the Weinberger Adjustment Inventory (WAI), and the Drug Experience Questionnaire (DEQ) are included.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   The Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist--Youth Self Report (YSR), the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument: Second Version (MAYSI-2), the Weinberger Adjustment Inventory (WAI), and the Drug Experience Questionnaire (DEQ) were used.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

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