Problem profiles of at-risk youth in two service programs: A multigroup exploratory latent class analysis

Richard Dembo, Rhissa Briones-Robinson, Rocío Aracelis Ungaro, Lora Karas, Laura M. Gulledge, Paul E. Greenbaum, James Schmeidler, Ken C. Winters, Steven Belenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Baseline data collected in two brief intervention projects (BI-Court and Truancy Project) were used to assess similarities and differences in subgroups of at-risk youth. Classifications of these subgroups were based on their psychosocial characteristics (e.g., substance use). Multigroup latent class analysis identified two BI-Court subgroups of youth and three truant subgroups. These classes can be viewed as differing along two dimensions, substance use involvement and emotional and behavioral issues. Equality tests of means across the latent classes for BI-Court and Truancy Project youths found significant differences that were consistent with their problem group classification. These findings highlight the importance of quality assessments and allocating appropriate services on the basis of problem profiles of at-risk youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-1008
Number of pages21
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research reported in this article was funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Grant No. DA021561. We are grateful for NIDA’s support. We are also grateful for the collaboration and support of our work by the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Hillsborough County Public Schools, the Agency for Community Treatment Services, and 13th Judicial Circuit, Juvenile Diversion Program.


  • at-risk youth
  • problem profiles at-risk youth
  • service program match for at-risk youth


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