COVID-19 and Youth Who Have Experienced Commercial Sexual Exploitation: A Role for Child Mental Health Professionals During and in the Aftermath of a Pandemic [Editorial]
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated some of the most pressing social problems and structural inequities, with a disproportionate impact on some of the most vulnerable youth. The goal of this article is to raise awareness among child mental health professionals of the ways in which the pandemic has likely exacerbated the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the United States. A second goal is to promote child mental health professionals' ability to identify and care for these resilient yet underresourced youth.
Preempting the Development of Antisocial Behavior and Psychopathic Traits
Antisocial behavior and psychopathic traits are subject to complex patterns of inheritance, gene--environment interactive effects, and powerful environmental influences. Yet genetic factors are important in the etiology of antisocial behavior and psychopathic traits, and identifying youth with an elevated genetic risk may lead to improved interventions and preventive efforts. Additionally, research revealing the importance of gene--environment interactions in the development of antisocial behavior and psychopathic traits should be harnessed to promote more rehabilitative, developmentally appropriate policies to benefit youth in the juvenile justice and social welfare systems.
Evaluating parents in child custody and abuse cases and the utility of psychological measures in screening for parental psychopathy or antisocial personality
Conduct Disorder: Biology and Developmental Trajectories
For centuries, attempting a successful rehabilitation of youth with antisocial behaviors has challenged juvenile justice systems and society. More recently, advances in science and neuroimaging have permitted a deeper understanding of the biological underpinnings of antisocial behavior and psychopathic tendencies. This paper reviews biological findings in youth with conduct disorder, highlighting comparisons to biological findings in adults with antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy. Overall, youth with conduct disorder exhibit several biological findings that are similar to adults with antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy, consistent with theories that conduct disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that progresses to these adult conditions. There is evidence that treatment interventions might mitigate this progression and induce biological changes. Further, biological findings might guide interventions to rehabilitate youth and change the developmental trajectory of antisocial behaviors.
Intellectual Disabilities in Juvenile Justice: The Case for Screening [Editorial]
Recent efforts to reform and improve the juvenile justice system have overlooked one critically important issue-the widespread failure to routinely screen for intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in young offenders. Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, offenders with I/DD must receive appropriate accommodations. Yet across the country, adolescents and adults with I/DD must engage with the juvenile justice system without appropriate supports and often with their disabilities unknown to corrections staff, lawyers, judges, and other personnel.
Nature, Nurture, and Attachment: Implications in Light of Expanding Definitions of Parenthood
Recent expansion of the legal definition of parenthood in New York State raises the question of whether the presence of a genetic relationship between a parent and child trumps environmental and interpersonal factors in the formation of a strong, secure attachment bond. The purpose of this paper is to emphasize that attachment between a child and secure attachment figure is inherently biological, and that such biological attachment supersedes the existence of a genetic parent-child relationship. First, the paper provides an overview of attachment and its biological basis. It then discusses the impact on attachment of environmental and interpersonal influences, which current research suggests have the power to alter brain biology. There is no clear evidence that a genetic relationship confers a significant advantage in terms of attachment. This paper proposes that the term "biological parent" be redefined to include anyone with whom a child shares a strong attachment bond.
Victimization and Vulnerability: A Study of Incarceration, Interpersonal Trauma, and Patient-Physician Trust
Despite the critical importance of patient-physician trust, it may be compromised among vulnerable patients, such as (1) incarcerated patients and (2) those patients who have been victims of trauma. The purpose of this study was to examine patient-physician trust among forensic and civilian psychiatric inpatient populations and to explore whether it varied based on a patient's history of incarceration and/or victimization. A trust survey (WFPTS) and a trauma instrument (LEC-5) were administered to 93 patients hospitalized on forensic and civilian psychiatric hospital units in a large, urban public hospital. Results showed no difference in patient-physician trust between incarcerated and civilian patients. Similarly, there was no effect of a history of physical assault or sexual assault on ratings of patient-physician trust. However, the hospitalized civilian and forensic patients who reported being the victim of weapons assault had significantly lower patient-physician trust scores than their counterparts.
Rating scales for psychiatric disorders
The Authors Reply [Comment]
Patient-satisfaction surveys on a scale of 0 to 10: improving health care, or leading it astray?
Patient-satisfaction surveys can call attention to the importance of treating patients with dignity and respect, but good ratings depend more on manipulable patient perceptions than on good medicine. In fact, the pressure to get good ratings can lead to bad medicine.