Incarcerated youth with personality disorders: Prevalence, comorbidity and convergent validity

Katie Kaszynski, Diana L. Kallis, Niranjan Karnik, Marie Soller, Scott Hunter, Rudy Haapanen, James Blair, Hans Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: The aims of this study were to examine the prevalence and comorbidities of personality disorders among incarcerated juveniles and to investigate the validity of these results. Method: A sample of 790 incarcerated youth (650 boys and 140 girls; mean age=16.8years) completed an assessment of Axis II diagnoses (Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality). Subjects also completed secondary questionnaires assessing anger-irritability (Youth Self-Report (YSR)), aggression (YSR), delinquency (Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-2), and distress and restraint (Weinberger Adjustment Inventory). Results: Personality disorders can be found among incarcerated youth at high rates. Many meet the criteria for more than one personality disorder. Those with personality disorders have significant elevations of anger-irritability, aggression, delinquency, and distress and reduced restraint compared with incarcerated youth without a personality disorder. Conclusions: Results indicate that personality disorders can be found in incarcerated youth at high rates. These findings further our understanding of chronic psychiatric illness and possibly criminal recidivism in this at-risk population. Addition of personality measures in the assessment of delinquents may assist in the development of more effective interventions. Furthermore, the supportive convergent validity of these findings in a population younger than 18years may indicate a need to reassess the current rationale for the diagnosis of Axis II disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-51
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality and Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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