Justice-involved youth witness and experience disproportionately high levels of violence and abuse, yet our understanding of trauma-related symptoms and exposure to violence (ETV) in this group remains largely underdeveloped. Using data from a sample of 1,354 youth, this study uses latent class analysis to construct a typology of justice-involved trauma victims based on ETV items. Second, we test whether membership in different ETV classes is associated with more extensive and earlier system involvement and psychological symptomology. We identified with four classes of justice-involved trauma victims: minimally exposed youth, youth with high levels of witnessed violence, youth with high levels of witnessed and experienced non-lethal violence and youth with high levels of witnessed and experienced non-lethal and lethal gun violence. Membership in the latter class was strongly associated with higher number of arrests and younger age at first arrests. Significant differences in trauma-related symptoms were found across the various ETV classes. Implications for policy and practitioners are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine