Psychological Issues in Children & Adolescents in the Legal Setting
For the final paper, students will receive a case scenario in the week(s) prior to the Final Paper. Students will then respond to the case scenario with the bellow focal points in a minimum of 10 (maximum 20) double spaced pages in APA style; page limitations due not include reference page(s). Please use the “drop box” created – Course Content – Final Paper.
A robust description (APA format) of what are the key social, ethical, medical and psychological issues presenting in case scenario.
A brief description of what interventions, programs and services would be recommended for youth
A brief but comprehensive description of relevant research, legal finds, and relevant Amicus Briefs and analysis of how reviewed works would/could impact outcome of youth described in case scenario.
A brief, but critical evaluation of the limitations of the existing literature and recommendations for future research,
Youth is a 14-year-old Caucasian female who was brought to juvenile detention facility on a warrant on a remand with her original charge being Criminal Mischief and Assault (victim is the mother/current legal guardian); after youth had missed several probation appointments and recent urine screens indicated dilute or missed urine screen appointments. Youth was attired in detention scrubs and appeared well groomed, gave somewhat detailed answers during evaluation, and made inconsistent eye contact. When comparing youth self-report and review of records/information youth gave to detention staff upon initial detainment, youth presents with inconsistent responses regarding suicidality. Youth reported having a “good” memory, and denied any issues regarding paying attention. Her voice was of normal rate and rhythm. She was oriented to person, place, time, and situation. Youth denied hallucinations consistent with a mental health diagnosis. Youth reported she is able to sleep through the night and reported having a good appetite; but she clarified that without her medication (Trazadone at night) she does not sleep well. Youth also reported that she will have an “ok” amount of energy. Youth denied any current suicidal or homicidal ideation, intent, or plan and denied to this clinician a history of any suicide attempts. Youth did report having suicidal ideation last September stating “I just did not want to be around anymore.” Youth’s self-reported mood of “good,” was congruent with her present affect. Youth’s judgment and insight were fair.
Records review and interview with collaterals (mother and probation officer) indicates that youth has a history of low self-esteem, variable mood & affect presentation (i.e. in some reports depressed, in others agitated/manic, and in others avoidant), a past suicide attempt and has been hospitalized in the past; however youth denies both suicide attempt and hospitalization. It is important to note that mother and probation officer & review of records indicate that first suicide attempt (at age 12) was at home and attempt via hanging and the second suicide attempt earlier this year was from overdose of alcohol and resulted in hospitalize for three weeks before youth was stabilized and returned home. Youth has also received a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Bipolar Disorder in the past and has been treated for both. Currently she is in treatment with a primary care physician who is prescribing a mood stabilizer and “something for sleep” as well as with a therapist who’s primary intervention of choice to date with the youth has been dream analysis.
Youth discussed that she will not consume caffeine often. Youth reported first using nicotine at age 12 and would use once a month up until six months ago. Youth also reported first using alcohol at age 12 and would consume about once a month every six months. Youth discussed having an issue with drinking. Youth reported drinking a bottle of vodka and was found by her mother “passed out” in shrubs with abrasions on her face. After being taken to the hospital, it was also found that youth had been sexually assaulted. Mother of youth and youth did not discuss this incident with this clinician. Mother of youth also reported juvenile detention staff that she does not believe that youth has an issue with alcohol. Youth reported to this clinician that she has no plans to consume alcohol after this incident. Upon records review it appears that this incident (recent alcohol intoxication where hospital also reported sexual assault) was not classified as suicide attempt; however due to youth Type I Diabetes took over a week to stabilize youth before returning home. Records review indicate that youth refused to discussed the evidenced of sexual assault and mother aligned with you and denied that it had occurred.
Youth discussed her parents divorcing when she was about age three years of age. Youth then lived with her father until age 11 and has lived with her mother since. Father of youth currently resides out of state and youth discussed talking to her father often and feels much supported by him. Youth discussed arguing often with her mother and her younger brother who resides with them. Youth denied any family history abuse however discussed in records review indicates physical abuse had occurred between youth and her father when youth was placed with father which resulted in mother of youth filing for full physical custody (granted by the State when youth turned 12 years of age). Youth denies this. Reports from human services also indicate domestic violence when her parents were still together that resulted in report to social services.
Youth is currently in the eighth grade and although youth reports she receives grades of As and Bs, youth also reports that she does not attend school often. Youth discussed being involved in soccer when she lived with her father and would like to continue this. Youth also discussed being suspended once last year for harassment and denied any expulsions. Youth denied any history or affiliations with any gang.
This is youth’s fourth arrest and second time in detention. Youth discussed feeling supported by her family however would like to improve the relationships with her mother and brother and discussed wanting to go live with her father out of state. Mother of youth would like to see youth continue with her treatment and receive counseling services to help improve her mood.