Language impairment and comorbid vulnerabilities among young people in custody

HUGHES, Nathan, CHITSABESAN, Prathiba, BRYAN, Karen, BORSCHMANN, Rohan, SWAIN, Nathaniel, LENNOX, Charlotte and SHAW, Jennifer (2017). Language impairment and comorbid vulnerabilities among young people in custody. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58 (10), 1106-1113.

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Background While the prevalence of language and communication difficulties among young people in custody is well established, holistic understanding of the complexity and co-occurrence of additional vulnerabilities among this population are rare. Methods Ninety-three young people in a young offenders institution in England were assessed using the Comprehensive Health Assessment Tool, the Test of Word Knowledge, and a range of additional assessments of communication, cognition, and neurodevelopmental difficulties. Results Forty-seven percent of the young people demonstrated an aspect of language skills significantly below the population average, with more than one in four identified as having impairment. Only one in four of those with an impairment had previously accessed speech and language services. Language needs were associated with difficulties with social communication and nonverbal cognition, as well as higher risk of self-harm and substance misuse. Conclusions Earlier identification of language difficulties requires routine assessment of young people at risk of engagement in offending behavior. Where language difficulties are identified, holistic assessments of needs should be undertaken. There is a need for speech and language therapy provision within youth justice services, as well as in other services accessed by young people at risk of engagement in offending.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router. ** Licence for this article starting on 22-08-2017:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health, Developmental and Educational Psychology, Psychiatry and Mental health
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 1106-1113
SWORD Depositor: Jill Hazard
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2017 12:54
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 01:04

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