Reflective of interest in mental health and substance abuse issues among youths involved with the justice system, we performed a latent class analysis on baseline information collected on 100 youths involved in two diversion programs. Results identified two groups of youths: Group 1: a majority of the youths, who had high levels of delinquency, mental health, and substance abuse issues; and Group 2: youths with low levels of these problems. Comparison of these two groups on a variety of psychosocial measures and parent/guardian reports found differences between them that were consistent with their problem group classification. Follow-up analysis confirmed problem behavior that was consistent with the youths' latent class placement. Implications of the findings for research and practice are presented.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Preparation of this manuscript was supported by grant # R21 Da020542, funded by the National Institute on Drug abuse. The authors are grateful for their support. however, the research results reported and the views expressed in this article do not necessarily imply any policy or research endorsement by our funding agency. address correspondence to Richard Dembo, PhD, Department of Criminology, university of South Florida, 4202 east Fowler avenue, Tampa, FL 33620, uSa. e-mail: email@example.com
- diversion youth
- latent class analysis
- risk classification of juvenile offenders