A team of Russian, American, and Belgian psychiatrists studied relations between DSM-IV diagnoses of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), reports of witnessing violence and being victimized by violence, and YSR scores among 370 incarcerated Russian male delinquents. Of the 331 who reported at least one traumatic event, 24.8% met full PTSD criteria, while 41.6% met at least three criteria (designated as “partial criteria”). Scores on most YSR syndromes, including all three Internalizing syndromes, were significantly higher for youths who met full PTSD criteria than for youths who either met partial PTSD criteria or did not meet even partial criteria.
Scores on both the YSR Delinquent Behavior syndrome (now called Rule-Breaking Behavior) and the YSR Aggressive Behavior syndrome correlated significantly with both witnessing violence and being victimized by violence. The correlations remained significant even after partialling out scores on the Child Post-traumatic Stress Reaction Index (CPTS-RI). The authors concluded that their findings “support previous research findings that implicate violence exposure in the development of both externalizing and internalizing behaviors, a finding with meaning for public policy, especially primary prevention efforts for youths at risk” (p. 328).
Reference: Ruchkin, V.V., Schwab-Stone, M., Koposov, R., Vermeiren, R., & Steiner, H. (2002). Violence Exposure, Posttraumatic Stress, and Personality in Juvenile Delinquents. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41, 322-329.