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Learning disabilities and educational needs of juvenile offenders

Learning disabilities and educational needs of juvenile offenders This article is based on a study that was commissioned by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. We report on the learning profiles and education needs of a cohort of young offenders who were recruited for the study. The research was a national cross‐sectional survey of 301 young offenders who were resident in custodial settings or attending youth offending teams in the community. The young people were assessed using the WASI and the WORD measures to obtain psychometric information (IQ scores and reading/reading comprehension ages). One in five (20%) young people met the ICD‐10 criteria for mental retardation (IQ<70), while problems with reading (52%) and reading comprehension (61%) were common. Verbal IQ scores were found to be significantly lower than performance IQ scores, particularly in male offenders. It is clear from these results that a large proportion of juvenile offenders have a learning disability, as characterised by an IQ<70 and significantly low reading and reading comprehension ages. The underlying aetiology of this association is less clear and may be a consequence of both an increased prevalence of neurocognitive deficits and the impact of poor schooling. There is some evidence that developmental pathways may be different for boys compared with girls. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Children's Services Emerald Publishing

Learning disabilities and educational needs of juvenile offenders

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1746-6660
DOI
10.1108/17466660200700032
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article is based on a study that was commissioned by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. We report on the learning profiles and education needs of a cohort of young offenders who were recruited for the study. The research was a national cross‐sectional survey of 301 young offenders who were resident in custodial settings or attending youth offending teams in the community. The young people were assessed using the WASI and the WORD measures to obtain psychometric information (IQ scores and reading/reading comprehension ages). One in five (20%) young people met the ICD‐10 criteria for mental retardation (IQ<70), while problems with reading (52%) and reading comprehension (61%) were common. Verbal IQ scores were found to be significantly lower than performance IQ scores, particularly in male offenders. It is clear from these results that a large proportion of juvenile offenders have a learning disability, as characterised by an IQ<70 and significantly low reading and reading comprehension ages. The underlying aetiology of this association is less clear and may be a consequence of both an increased prevalence of neurocognitive deficits and the impact of poor schooling. There is some evidence that developmental pathways may be different for boys compared with girls.

Journal

Journal of Children's ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2007

Keywords: Juvenile offenders; Learning disability; Learning impairment; Educational needs

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