Use of the Westerman Aboriginal Symptoms Checklist - Youth (WASC-Y) to screen for mental health problems in Indigenous youth in custody

Stathis, Stephen L., Doolan, Ivan, Letters, Paul, Arnett, Amanda, Cory, Storm and Quinlan, Laura (2012) Use of the Westerman Aboriginal Symptoms Checklist - Youth (WASC-Y) to screen for mental health problems in Indigenous youth in custody. Advances in Mental Health, 10 3: 235-239.

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Author Stathis, Stephen L.
Doolan, Ivan
Letters, Paul
Arnett, Amanda
Cory, Storm
Quinlan, Laura
Title Use of the Westerman Aboriginal Symptoms Checklist - Youth (WASC-Y) to screen for mental health problems in Indigenous youth in custody
Journal name Advances in Mental Health
ISSN 1838-7357
1837-4905
Publication date 2012-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 10
Issue 3
Start page 235
End page 239
Total pages 5
Place of publication Maleny, QLD, Australia
Publisher eContent Management
Language eng
Abstract The primary aim of this study was to screen for mental health problems in Australian Indigenous young people in a youth detention centre using the Westerman Aboriginal Symptoms Checklist – Youth (WASC-Y). Over the study period, all Indigenous young people admitted into custody were referred for screening with the WASC-Y, a culturally validated fi vescaled instrument developed to identify Indigenous young people at risk for a range of mental health or substance abuse problems. The WASC-Y also incorporates a separate scale for cultural resilience. High levels of mental health and substance abuse problems were reported, with 94.6% of males and 100% of females surveyed screening above the designated clinical cut-off on at least one scale. Based on moderate/medium levels of risk, 27.7% screened positive for depression, 34.0% for suicide ideation or intent, 89.4% for substance use, 36.2% for impulsivity, and 68.1% for symptoms of anxiety. Females screened higher than males across all fi ve subscales, though differences reached statistical signifi cance only for suicidal ideation or intent. Cultural resilience as a protective factor for mental health problems (excluding substance abuse) approached clinical signifi cance. Given their pervasively high levels of psychological distress, it is recommended that on admission into custody all Indigenous youth are referred for a mental health assessment and substance abuse counselling. It is important to assess for culturally resiliency or other strengths that may be protective against mental health problems.
Keyword Westerman
WASC-Y
Indigenous youth
Custody
Mental health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 08:39:47 EST by Matthew Lamb on behalf of School of Medicine