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Multiple Service System Involvement and Later Offending Behavior: Implications for Prevention and Early Intervention
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    We investigated patterns of childhood and adolescent experiences that correspond to later justice system entry, including persistence into adulthood, and explored whether timing of potential supports to the child or onset of family poverty, according to developmental periods and gender, would distinguish among latent classes.


    We constructed a database containing records for 8587 youths from a Midwestern metropolitan region, born between 1982 and 1991, with outcomes. We used data from multiple publicly funded systems (child welfare, income maintenance, juvenile and criminal justice, mental health, Medicaid, vital statistics). We applied a latent class analysis and interpreted a 7-class model.


    Classes with higher rates of offending persisting into adulthood were characterized by involvement with multiple publicly funded systems in childhood and adolescence, with the exception of 1 less-urban, predominantly female class that had similarly high system involvement coupled with lower rates of offending.


    Poverty and maltreatment appear to play a critical role in offending trajectories. Identifying risk factors that cluster together may help program and intervention staff best target those most in need of more intensive intervention.

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    CE001190/CE/NCIPC CDC HHS/United States
    R01 MH 061733-04 A1/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
    R01 MH061733/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
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