Research Reports - Predicting adult offending behavior for individuals who experienced a traumatic brain injury during childhood
J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2013 Nov 20
McKinlay A, Grace RC, McLellan T, Roger D, Clarbour J, Macfarlane MR
OBJECTIVES:: To examine whether individuals who experienced a childhood traumatic
brain injury (TBI) are at increased risk for subsequent offending behavior, to
identify the emotional characteristics of adults who experienced childhood TBI,
and to examine whether these predict offending behavior.
PARTICIPANTS:: Individuals from the Canterbury region who had experienced a
childhood (<18 years of age) injury event and were now 18 years or older and more
than 5 years postinjury (between 18 and 30 years of age). Three groups were
formed: (1) moderate/severe TBI (n = 62); (2) mild TBI (n = 58); and (3) fracture
control group (n = 38).
SETTING:: University of Canterbury.
MAIN MEASURES:: A semistructured interview assessed lifetime involvement in
offending behavior; the Emotional Behavior Scale measured internalizing and
externalizing behaviors, including malevolent aggression, social anxiety, and
RESULTS:: Compared with controls, there was an increased risk of offending
behavior (mild TBI: odds ratio = 8.7; moderate/severe TBI odds ratio = 20.4).
Binary logistic regression analysis revealed that the strongest predictors of
offending behavior were TBI status, higher levels of malevolent aggression, and
age at injury.
CONCLUSIONS:: Individuals who experienced childhood TBI are at increased risk of
offending behavior. Emotional behavior measures were useful predictors of
offending behavior, offering opportunity for intervention.