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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 53 (2011) 6, 333 - 342

New research

Group treatment of violent adolescents at a forensic psychiatric clinic: first results

R.H.J. Hornsveld, F.W. Kraaimaat

background Up till now in the Netherlands no controlled studies haven been published regarding the effect of outpatient treatment of violent adolescents at a psychiatric clinic.
aim To investigate in an explanatory study the results of group treatment of violent adolescents (aggression control therapy) performed at the forensic outpatient clinic ‘het Dok’ in Rotterdam.
method First of all, personality traits and problem behaviours of the patients were compared with those of a group of secondary vocational students. Then we compared the traits and behaviour of those who completed the treatment with those of the patients who dropped out. In order to determine the therapy results, patients were measured at three moments; during uptake, at the beginning of treatment and at the end of treatment.
results Patients appeared to score significantly higher on the trait anger and on hostility than the secondary vocational students but significantly lower on social anxiety. Patients who completed the therapy scored significantly lower on psychopathy than the patients who dropped out early. During the waiting-list period there was no change in the problem behaviours of the patients. Patients who completed the therapy demonstrated significant decrease in physical aggression. However, the size effect appeared to be small.
conclusion Aggression control therapy at a forensic psychiatric outpatient clinic seems to result in a significant decrease in self-reported physically aggressive behaviour in violent adolescents.

keywords adolescents, aggression control therapy, treatment, violence