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Psychological Profiles of Colombian Juvenile Offenders: Variations Based on Offense Types

Jorge Emiro Restrepo ,
Jorge Emiro Restrepo

Tecnológico de Antioquia, Facultad de Educación y Ciencias Sociales. Medellín, Colombia

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Sergio Andrés Acosta-Tobón ,
Sergio Andrés Acosta-Tobón

Instituto Psicoeducativo de Colombia (IPSICOL). Medellín, Colombia

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Introduction: Young offenders are not a homogeneous group, and it is necessary to identify their psychological and psychopathological differences according to some classification.
Objective: To characterize the psychological profiles of Colombian juvenile delinquents according to the type of offense, exploring possible differences.
Method: A descriptive, quantitative, and cross-sectional observational study was conducted with 200 young offenders aged between 14 and 18 years. The Children and Adolescents Evaluation System (SENA) was used, which measures 29 variables related to emotional and behavioral problems (internalized, externalized, contextual, and specific problems), areas of vulnerability, and psychological resources of the adolescent. Participants were grouped according to the type of offense: group 1 (offenses against persons), group 2 (property crimes), and group 3 (drug trafficking and possession offenses).
Results: The main finding was detecting clinical and statistical differences when comparing the groups. Comparison analyses showed statistically significant differences in 18 of the 29 variables. In all of these, the group 1 T scores were higher than those of the other groups, and the group 3 scores were lower than those of the other groups.
Conclusions: The findings reinforce the thesis that young offenders should not be considered as a single group or as a homogeneous group. This finding is consistent with authors and research that argue for and present evidence in favor of a differential classification of juvenile delinquency and the existence of a special group that has committed serious offenses.

How to Cite

Restrepo JE, Acosta Tobón SA. Psychological Profiles of Colombian Juvenile Offenders: Variations Based on Offense Types. Salud, Ciencia y Tecnología [Internet]. 2024 May 12 [cited 2024 May 28];4:862. Available from:

The article is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Unless otherwise stated, associated published material is distributed under the same licence.

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