Psychiatric Symptoms and Behaviors in Adolescence that Are Associated with Violence
This chapter reviews psychiatric symptoms in adolescence that are associated with concurrent or future violence. Adolescence is a developmentally challenging transition period into young adulthood. Mental illness, in its many different forms, must be considered and treated with a great deal of caution at this age, given the developmental nature of those disorders. Rather than psychosis-related disorders, adolescents tend to express symptoms of conduct disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other behavioral problems that are predictive of future violence. Common underlying factors for adolescents’ problem behaviors are varied and include developmental delays (including lack of hearing and communication skills), early and/or later trauma exposure, and antisocial family values. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion about the importance of not over diagnosing mental illness within the adolescent population, and the need to focus on treating symptoms no matter how the underlying condition is classified.
KeywordsPsychiatric symptoms Mental illness Adolescence Violence Personality disorder Conduct disorder Trauma Family factors
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