Link between Brain Injury and Mental Problems in Delinquent Teens

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The University of Michigan reports: “nearly one out of five delinquent youths suffers from traumatic brain injury, which can contribute to wide ranging mental illness”. U of M interviewed 720 youths (ages from 11 to 20) in Missouri rehabilitation facilities and found that about 132 of the teens reported having a traumatic brain injury. The study also found that “these troubled teens had a significantly earlier onset of criminal and substance-using behaviors”.

Is it really a surprise? Traumatic Brain Injury can cause a host of behavioral problems. They may develop difficulty with Impulse control, self-regulation or self-control, over arousal, frustration tolerance, as well as problems in perception, and increased aggressiveness (just to name a few). So is it any wonder that individuals with brain injuries who go untreated experience difficulties with the law and end up being treated for mental health problems, in my humble opinion – not really.

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About Penny R Miller, MS, LPC, CBIS

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