Nadine Boer; Aggression in institutionalized, male juvenile offenders from various ethnic origins. The Reactive Proactive Questionnaire (RPQ) as a tool for classifying aggression in a forensic setting

Reactive and proactive aggression are two forms of aggression that have often been described in previous articles. Both forms share an amount of correlates and additionally show some distinct associations with other variables linked to mental disorders or misbehavior. Aggression as well as mental disorders are very common within juvenile justice institutes. The aim of the current study was to provide cut-offs for aggression that help to identify highly aggressive youths who greatly differ in clinically relevant features (e.g., mental health problems) from youths with lower levels of reactive and/or proactive aggression. To achieve this, current study used data of the Reactive Proactive Questionnaire (RPQ) with addition of MAYSI-2 and SDQ data of N = 1591 detained male juveniles from various ethnic origins. To ensure that cut-offs can be used across all ethnicities, cut-offs were identified within 4 ethnic groups, being Dutch, Moroccan, Antillean-Surinamese and mixed ethnicities. Cut-offs for the RPQ identify juveniles with high aggression levels and also higher scores on variables screening for mental disorder, compared to juveniles with normal aggression levels. Therefore, current study facilitates RPQ score interpretation and helps optimize screening, diagnostics and treatment of institutionalized juvenile offenders.