The Linkage Between Mental Health, Delinquency, and Trajectories of Delinquency: Results from the Boricua Youth Study


Purpose: To examine the longitudinal relationship between depression, delinquency, and trajectories of delinquency among Hispanic children and adolescents. Methods: Propensity score matching is used to match depressed and non-depressed youth and a combination of group-based trajectory and multinomial logistic regression techniques are used. Results: After adjusting for pre-existing differences between depressed and non-depressed youth, the causal relationship between depression and delinquency and the association between depression and trajectories of delinquency appears to be largely spurious. However, the effect of depression on predicting a high rate and increasing trajectory of delinquency is robust. Conclusions: Depression and high-rate offending are linked in a sample of Hispanic children and adolescents.


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Depression, Mental, Developmental psychology, Hispanic Americans, Mental health, Juvenile delinquency

This study was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health through grants RO-1 MH56401 and P20 MD000537-01.


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