Adolescents within the juvenile system suffer from a multitude of physical and mental health issues. Previous studies have linked incarceration to poor health in juveniles, but very few have been able to claim incarceration is the cause for the mental health issues found in incarcerated juveniles. Whether juveniles go into the system with pre-existing mental health disorders or not, still many factors are associated with the development of mental disorders while incarcerated. Based on what the field knows and does not know about the link between juvenile incarceration and mental health, the goal of this study was to determine if incarceration is directly associated with increases in depression and anxiety among incarcerated juveniles. To explore this issue further, I conducted a study that investigates the relationship using data from the Pathways to Desistance Study. The results of the study established a clear causal ordering between mental health and incarceration demonstrating that mental health appears to deteriorate during incarceration and improve after release. This study can aid in the reform of juvenile detention as mental health programs can be developed in order to assist incarcerated adolescents.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Orlando (Main) Campus
Alfonso, Melanie, "The Effects of Incarceration on Depression and Anxiety in Juveniles" (2022). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1103.