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Durham University

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Publication details

Tiffin, P. A., Shah, P. & Le Couteur, A. (2007). Diagnosing pervasive developmental disorders in a forensic adolescent mental health setting. British Journal of Forensic Practice 9(3): 31-40.

Author(s) from Durham


Developmental delays in social and communication functioning have been proposed as a possible risk factor for offending behaviour in both young people and adults. These deficits may be particularly common in young people with both offending behaviours and mental health needs. This article describes how an assessment for pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) may be undertaken in a forensic adolescent mental health setting and integrated into the overall needs and risk assessment. Two case histories are summarised to illustrate the advantages and challenges of using this approach as part of the assessment and management of young people. It is likely that a thorough evaluation of social and communication functioning can contribute to developing effective management strategies for patients with offending behaviours and complex needs.