Assessing trauma symptomatology among juvenile offenders: an exploration of the basc-2 and tscc
Zito, Ashlee Elizabeth
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The purpose of this study was to identify an effective measure that accurately recognizes trauma symptomatology among juvenile offenders in the detention and community settings. The Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2; Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2004), a widely used tool with the juvenile offender population, and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC; Briere, 1996) were the primary instruments used in this study. A total of 63 juvenile offenders (34 in detention centers and 29 in the community) participated. Findings suggest that several of the clinical scales on the BASC-2 are significantly correlated with items measuring specific trauma-related symptomatology on the TSCC. Further, multiple stepwise regression with backward elimination analyses revealed that specific elevations on the BASC-2 are predictive of specific trauma-related symptomatology as measured by the TSCC. Finally, results indicated that while community juvenile offenders scored significantly higher on the Attitude to School, Attitude to Teachers, and Locus of Control clinical scales on the BASC-2 when compared to their detained peers; there were no significant differences between detained and community juvenile offenders in their endorsement of trauma-related symptoms on the TSCC. The results of the analyses completed in this study suggest that specific trauma-related symptomatology can be identified on the BASC-2 for adjudicated youth. Implications for clinical practice and future research are offered.