Disproportionality in Psychiatric Diagnoses and Treatment in a Sample of Serious Juvenile Offenders

cover_jyaBaglivio, Michael T., Kevin T. Wolff, Alex R. Piquero, Mark A. Greenwald, and Nathan Epps (2016). Disproportionality in Psychiatric Diagnoses and Treament in a Sample of Serious Juvenile Offenders. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Forthcoming.

The current study examines racial/ethnic disparity in psychiatric diagnoses and treatment of behavioral disorders among a sample of serious juvenile offenders. Multivariate techniques were employed to explore the racial/ethnic disproportionality in behavioral disorder diagnoses and psychiatric treatment provision among 8763 males (57.7 % Black, 11.8 % Hispanic) and 1,347 females (53.7 % Black, 7.6 % Hispanic) admitted to long-term juvenile justice residential placements in Florida. Results indicate Black males are 40 % more likely, and Black females 54 % more likely to be diagnosed with conduct disorder than Whites. Black and Hispanic males are approximately 40 % less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than White males. Finally, Black males are 32 % less likely to receive psychiatric treatment than White males. Future research and policy implications are discussed.