This course is based upon material published in the journal Criminal Justice and Behavior by Sage Publications on behalf of the International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology (IACFP). This course, including the continuing education credits are offered free of charge as a benefit to all IACFP members.
Abstract: Youth in secure juvenile justice settings (e.g., detention, incarceration) often have histories of complex trauma: exposure to traumatic stressors including polyvictimization, life-threatening accidents or disasters, and interpersonal losses. Complex trauma adversely affects early childhood biopsychosocial development and attachment bonding, placing the youth at risk for a range of serious problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, oppositional defiance, risk taking, substance abuse) that may lead to reactive aggression. Complex trauma is associated with an extremely problematic combination of persistently diminished adaptive arousal reactions, episodic maladaptive hyperarousal, impaired information processing and impulse control, selfcritical and aggression-endorsing cognitive schemas, and peer relationships that model and reinforce disinhibited reactions, maladaptive ways of thinking, and aggressive, antisocial, and delinquent behaviors. This constellation of problems poses significant challenges for management, rehabilitation, and treatment of youth in secure justice settings. Epidemiological and clinical evidence of the prevalence, impact on development and functioning, comorbidity, and adverse outcomes in adolescence of exposure to complex trauma are reviewed. Implications for milieu management, screening, assessment, and treatment of youth who have complex trauma histories and problems with aggression in secure juvenile justice settings are discussed, with directions for future research and program development.
Forensic and clinical psychologists can benefit from this course. In addition, this course is appropriate for social workers and professional counselors, especially those interested in forensic psychology or those who work within the criminal justice system. This course is appropriate for intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to enhance their knowledge of complex trauma and aggression in adolescents, especially those in secure juvenile justice settings.
Authors: Ford, Chapman, Conner and Cruise
Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding complex trauma and aggression in secure juvenile settings. Specifically, a professional will:
· Identify the prevalence of comorbidity and adverse outcomes in adolescents who are exposed to complex trauma.
· Distinguish the implications for milieu management, screening and assessment of adolescents who are exposed to complex trauma.
· Describe recommended treatment strategies for youth with complex trauma histories and aggression in secure juvenile justice settings.
Citation: Ford, J.D., Chapman, J., Connor, D.F. and Cruise, K.R. (2012). Complex Trauma and Aggression In Secure Juvenile Justice Settings. Criminal Justice and Behavior V39(6).