Multiple Pathways to Juvenile Recidivism: Examining Parental Drug and Mental Health Problems, and Markers of Neuropsychological Deficits Among Serious Juvenile Offenders

Michael T. Baglivio, Kevin T. Wolff, Alex R. Piquero, Matt DeLisi, Michael G. Vaughn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The current study examines multiple pathways to antisocial behavior involving neurobiologically based measures and indicators of executive functioning in the interest of informing treatment and intervention services for the deepest end juvenile justice placements. Specifically, using a statewide, multiyear sample of over 11,000 male juvenile offenders completing residential commitment placements, we employ structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine whether parental drug, alcohol, and mental health problems have a direct effect on neurocognitive deficits (as measured by formal Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD], or formal Conduct Disorder [CD] diagnoses) and temperamental deficits (as measured by effortful control and negative emotionality), which in turn are examined for their direct effects on recidivism. Results show that parental problems were associated with an increased likelihood of formal ADHD diagnosis as well increased negative emotionality among youth. Furthermore, ADHD and temperamental deficits (both effortful control and negative emotionality) were significantly related to continued offending. These findings may be helpful in treatment planning, targeting of intervention, and discussions of primary and secondary prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1029
Number of pages21
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • behavioral disorders
  • juvenile recidivism
  • parental mental health
  • parental substance use
  • temperament

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