The associations of cumulative adverse childhood experiences and irritability with mental disorders in detained male adolescent offenders

Bielas, Hannes and Barra, Steffen and Skrivanek, Christine and Aebi, Marcel and Steinhausen, Hans-Christoph and Bessler, Cornelia and Plattner, Belinda. (2016) The associations of cumulative adverse childhood experiences and irritability with mental disorders in detained male adolescent offenders. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 10. p. 34.

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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and psychiatric disorders are common in juvenile detainees. Emotional dysregulation resulting from cumulated ACEs may be characterized by symptoms of irritability. The present study examined whether the accumulation of ACEs, irritability, or both predicted mental disorders in incarcerated adolescents with and without controlling for one another and for socio-demographic factors. One hundred thirty male detained juvenile offenders (aged 13.8-19.5 years) were assessed by structured clinical interviews and a self-reporting scale for irritability. Univariate and multivariate regression models were used to examine the shared and distinct associations of ACEs and irritability with psychiatric diagnoses.; A total of 75 % of the participants reported more than one ACE. The ACE total score was positively related to self-reported irritability. The ACE total score predicted depressive disorders, suicidality, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety disorders. Irritability was positively related to depressive disorders, suicidality, disruptive behavior disorder (DBD), substance use disorder (SUD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These associations remained significant in multivariate models.; This study provides evidence for the predictive impact of self-reported ACEs and irritability with regard to adolescent psychiatric disorders in young male inmates. Both variables differed in their predictive power for PTSD, internalizing, and externalizing disorders indicating the need for specific therapeutic interventions. Taking a close look at their trauma history seems to be of special importance for juveniles suffering from PTSD and anxiety disorders. For delinquent adolescents with DBD, ADHD and SUD, the training of emotion regulation techniques appears most promising. Approaches focusing on both, ACEs and emotion-focused contents may be implemented in the treatment of depressive disorders and suicidality.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Klinische Psychologie und Neurowissenschaften > Klinische Psychologie und Epidemiologie (Lieb)
UniBasel Contributors:Steinhausen, Hans-Christoph
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:27 Oct 2017 12:25
Deposited On:27 Oct 2017 12:25

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