Degrees of difference among minority female juvenile offenders’ psychological functioning, risk behavior engagement, and health status: a latent profile investigationedit
Given the increase in the number of female youth who come in contact with the juvenile justice system, particularly those from ethnic minority backgrounds, concerns have been raised about the health status of this population. Using a latent profile analysis, we identified health profiles using indicators of psychological well-being, health risk behaviors, and health status. Participants included 153 minority adolescent females (M=15.13, SD=1.70) who were currently in a juvenile diversion program. Results indicated that a three-class solution fit the data optimally. Profiles included girls with low to moderate health risks (n=35; 22.9%), higher mental health symptoms (n=68; 44.4%), and a combination of multiple health risks (n=50; 32.7%). Additionally, demographic, contextual and offense-related variation existed across health profiles. Treatment and policy implications are discussed.