Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and youth justice: a prevalence study among young people sentenced to detention in Western Australia

Carol Bower, Rochelle Elizabeth Watkins, Raewyn Cheryll Mutch, Rhonda Pearl Marriott, Jacinta Freeman, Natalie Kippin, Bernadette Safe, Carmela Franca Pestell, Candy Cheung, Helen Shield, Lodewicka Tarratt, Alex Springall, Jasmine Taylor, Noni Walker, Emma Argiro, Suze Leitao, Sharynne Hamilton, Carmen Condon, Hayley Passmore, Roslyn Giglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives To estimate the prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) among young people in youth detention in Australia. Neurodevelopmental impairments due to FASD can predispose young people to engagement with the law. Canadian studies identified FASD in 11%–23% of young people in corrective services, but there are no data for Australia.
Design Multidisciplinary assessment of all young people aged 10–17 years 11 months and sentenced to detention in the only youth detention centre in Western Australia, from May 2015 to December 2016. FASD was diagnosed according to the Australian Guide to the Diagnosis of FASD.
Participants 99 young people completed a full assessment (88% of those consented; 60% of the 166 approached to participate); 93% were male and 74% were Aboriginal.


Findings 88 young people (89%) had at least one domain of severe neurodevelopmental impairment, and 36 were diagnosed with FASD, a prevalence of 36% (95% CI 27% to 46%).
Conclusions This study, in a representative sample of young people in detention in Western Australia, has documented a high prevalence of FASD and severe neurodevelopmental impairment, the majority of which had not been previously identified. These findings highlight the vulnerability of young people, particularly Aboriginal youth, within the justice system and their significant need for improved diagnosis to identify their strengths and difficulties, and to guide and improve their rehabilitation.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere019605
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2018

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Western Australia
Social Justice
Cross-Sectional Studies
Rehabilitation

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Bower, Carol ; Watkins, Rochelle Elizabeth ; Mutch, Raewyn Cheryll ; Marriott, Rhonda Pearl ; Freeman, Jacinta ; Kippin, Natalie ; Safe, Bernadette ; Pestell, Carmela Franca ; Cheung, Candy ; Shield, Helen ; Tarratt, Lodewicka ; Springall, Alex ; Taylor, Jasmine ; Walker, Noni ; Argiro, Emma ; Leitao, Suze ; Hamilton, Sharynne ; Condon, Carmen ; Passmore, Hayley ; Giglia, Roslyn. / Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and youth justice : a prevalence study among young people sentenced to detention in Western Australia. In: BMJ. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 2.
@article{fc3321158665431a9c76f55dedc19aca,
title = "Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and youth justice: a prevalence study among young people sentenced to detention in Western Australia",
abstract = "Objectives To estimate the prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) among young people in youth detention in Australia. Neurodevelopmental impairments due to FASD can predispose young people to engagement with the law. Canadian studies identified FASD in 11{\%}–23{\%} of young people in corrective services, but there are no data for Australia.Design Multidisciplinary assessment of all young people aged 10–17 years 11 months and sentenced to detention in the only youth detention centre in Western Australia, from May 2015 to December 2016. FASD was diagnosed according to the Australian Guide to the Diagnosis of FASD.Participants 99 young people completed a full assessment (88{\%} of those consented; 60{\%} of the 166 approached to participate); 93{\%} were male and 74{\%} were Aboriginal.Findings 88 young people (89{\%}) had at least one domain of severe neurodevelopmental impairment, and 36 were diagnosed with FASD, a prevalence of 36{\%} (95{\%} CI 27{\%} to 46{\%}).Conclusions This study, in a representative sample of young people in detention in Western Australia, has documented a high prevalence of FASD and severe neurodevelopmental impairment, the majority of which had not been previously identified. These findings highlight the vulnerability of young people, particularly Aboriginal youth, within the justice system and their significant need for improved diagnosis to identify their strengths and difficulties, and to guide and improve their rehabilitation.",
author = "Carol Bower and Watkins, {Rochelle Elizabeth} and Mutch, {Raewyn Cheryll} and Marriott, {Rhonda Pearl} and Jacinta Freeman and Natalie Kippin and Bernadette Safe and Pestell, {Carmela Franca} and Candy Cheung and Helen Shield and Lodewicka Tarratt and Alex Springall and Jasmine Taylor and Noni Walker and Emma Argiro and Suze Leitao and Sharynne Hamilton and Carmen Condon and Hayley Passmore and Roslyn Giglia",
year = "2018",
month = "3",
day = "26",
doi = "10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019605",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
journal = "BMJ: British Medical Journal",
issn = "0959-535X",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",
number = "2",

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Bower, C, Watkins, RE, Mutch, RC, Marriott, RP, Freeman, J, Kippin, N, Safe, B, Pestell, CF, Cheung, C, Shield, H, Tarratt, L, Springall, A, Taylor, J, Walker, N, Argiro, E, Leitao, S, Hamilton, S, Condon, C, Passmore, H & Giglia, R 2018, 'Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and youth justice: a prevalence study among young people sentenced to detention in Western Australia' BMJ, vol. 8, no. 2, e019605. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019605

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and youth justice : a prevalence study among young people sentenced to detention in Western Australia. / Bower, Carol; Watkins, Rochelle Elizabeth; Mutch, Raewyn Cheryll; Marriott, Rhonda Pearl; Freeman, Jacinta; Kippin, Natalie; Safe, Bernadette; Pestell, Carmela Franca; Cheung, Candy; Shield, Helen; Tarratt, Lodewicka; Springall, Alex; Taylor, Jasmine; Walker, Noni; Argiro, Emma; Leitao, Suze; Hamilton, Sharynne; Condon, Carmen; Passmore, Hayley; Giglia, Roslyn.

In: BMJ, Vol. 8, No. 2, e019605, 26.03.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and youth justice

T2 - a prevalence study among young people sentenced to detention in Western Australia

AU - Bower, Carol

AU - Watkins, Rochelle Elizabeth

AU - Mutch, Raewyn Cheryll

AU - Marriott, Rhonda Pearl

AU - Freeman, Jacinta

AU - Kippin, Natalie

AU - Safe, Bernadette

AU - Pestell, Carmela Franca

AU - Cheung, Candy

AU - Shield, Helen

AU - Tarratt, Lodewicka

AU - Springall, Alex

AU - Taylor, Jasmine

AU - Walker, Noni

AU - Argiro, Emma

AU - Leitao, Suze

AU - Hamilton, Sharynne

AU - Condon, Carmen

AU - Passmore, Hayley

AU - Giglia, Roslyn

PY - 2018/3/26

Y1 - 2018/3/26

N2 - Objectives To estimate the prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) among young people in youth detention in Australia. Neurodevelopmental impairments due to FASD can predispose young people to engagement with the law. Canadian studies identified FASD in 11%–23% of young people in corrective services, but there are no data for Australia.Design Multidisciplinary assessment of all young people aged 10–17 years 11 months and sentenced to detention in the only youth detention centre in Western Australia, from May 2015 to December 2016. FASD was diagnosed according to the Australian Guide to the Diagnosis of FASD.Participants 99 young people completed a full assessment (88% of those consented; 60% of the 166 approached to participate); 93% were male and 74% were Aboriginal.Findings 88 young people (89%) had at least one domain of severe neurodevelopmental impairment, and 36 were diagnosed with FASD, a prevalence of 36% (95% CI 27% to 46%).Conclusions This study, in a representative sample of young people in detention in Western Australia, has documented a high prevalence of FASD and severe neurodevelopmental impairment, the majority of which had not been previously identified. These findings highlight the vulnerability of young people, particularly Aboriginal youth, within the justice system and their significant need for improved diagnosis to identify their strengths and difficulties, and to guide and improve their rehabilitation.

AB - Objectives To estimate the prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) among young people in youth detention in Australia. Neurodevelopmental impairments due to FASD can predispose young people to engagement with the law. Canadian studies identified FASD in 11%–23% of young people in corrective services, but there are no data for Australia.Design Multidisciplinary assessment of all young people aged 10–17 years 11 months and sentenced to detention in the only youth detention centre in Western Australia, from May 2015 to December 2016. FASD was diagnosed according to the Australian Guide to the Diagnosis of FASD.Participants 99 young people completed a full assessment (88% of those consented; 60% of the 166 approached to participate); 93% were male and 74% were Aboriginal.Findings 88 young people (89%) had at least one domain of severe neurodevelopmental impairment, and 36 were diagnosed with FASD, a prevalence of 36% (95% CI 27% to 46%).Conclusions This study, in a representative sample of young people in detention in Western Australia, has documented a high prevalence of FASD and severe neurodevelopmental impairment, the majority of which had not been previously identified. These findings highlight the vulnerability of young people, particularly Aboriginal youth, within the justice system and their significant need for improved diagnosis to identify their strengths and difficulties, and to guide and improve their rehabilitation.

U2 - 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019605

DO - 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019605

M3 - Article

VL - 8

JO - BMJ: British Medical Journal

JF - BMJ: British Medical Journal

SN - 0959-535X

IS - 2

M1 - e019605

ER -