Cognitive and Academic Functioning of Juvenile Detainees: Implications for Correctional Populations and Public Health

Amy E. Lansing, Jason J. Washburn, Karen M. Abram, Ursula C. Thomas, Leah J. Welty, Linda A. Teplin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cognitive functioning affects health. This study assessed cognitive functioning among participants in the Northwestern Juvenile Project, a stratified random sample of 1,829 newly detained juveniles (10 to 18 years old) from Cook County, Illinois. The study examined receptive vocabulary, oral reading, arithmetic computation skills, and general intellectual abilities. The sample exhibited impaired overall intellectual functioning and deficits in all areas. Males performed more poorly than females. More than three quarters of males showed below average overall intellectual functioning, and 9 in 10 had below average receptive vocabulary skills. Hispanic and African American males performed more poorly than non-Hispanic White males. The multiple systems that serve delinquent youth-correctional, health, legal, and rehabilitative-must collaborate to tailor needed services to the cognitive level of youth in the juvenile justice system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-30
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Correctional Health Care
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • academic skills
  • correctional health
  • detained youth
  • intellectual functioning
  • juvenile detention
  • verbal abilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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