Are psychotic experiences among detained juvenile offenders explained by trauma and substance use?

O. Colins, R.R.J.M. Vermeiren, C. Vreugdenhil, G. Schuyten, E. Broekaert, A. Krabbendam

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OBJECTIVE: High rates of psychotic experiences among detained adolescents have been reported. However, the significance of psychotic experiences in detained juveniles is still poorly understood. The current study, therefore, (1) examines whether psychotic experiences could be explained by substance use and/or traumatic experiences, and (2) investigates this objective without taking into account the frequently occurring paranoia-related symptoms that may not be psychosis-related in detained minors. METHOD: Data were derived from 231 detained adolescents. By means of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, psychotic experiences, life-threatening events and substance use were assessed while the Child Traumatic Questionnaire was used for a history of abuse and neglect. RESULTS: In univariate logistic regression analyses, having psychotic experiences was positively associated with substance-related (e.g. past year intense marihuana use) and trauma-related (e.g. emotional abuse) variables. However, without taken paranoia-related experiences into account, different associations between psychotic experiences and substance-related and/or trauma-related variables were found. After building best fitting models, logistic regression analyses demonstrated a preponderance of trauma-related over substance-related variables in predicting the number of psychotic experiences (i.e. 0, 1-2, >2). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that psychotic experiences in detained adolescents may be explained by trauma and substance use. In addition, paranoia-related experiences seemed to be particularly associated with emotional abuse
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)39-46
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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