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Keywords:

  • academic achievement;
  • forensic assessment;
  • juvenile delinquency;
  • Japanese version of Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children II;
  • learning disabilities

Aim

The aim of this study was to create a profile of the cognitive and academic abilities of juvenile delinquents (JD) in Japan using the newly validated Japanese version of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition (KABC-II-J).

Methods

We administered the KABC-II-J to 22 JD (Mage = 15.9 years, standard deviation [SD] = 1.4), 28 typically developing high school students (Mage = 16.0 years, SD = 0.08), and (as controls) 12 special education students (Mage = 16.9, SD = 0.83) with mild intellectual disabilities.

Results

We observed significant differences between JD and typically developing students on learning index of the Mental Process Index, and the vocabulary, reading, writing, and mathematics indices on the Achievement Index. JD had lower scores than did typically developing high school students. Fourteen JD had a 1 SD discrepancy (43%) in scores on these indices. These cases were suspected of having learning disabilities.

Conclusion

The KABC-II-J is a suitable means of assessing academic and cognitive problems in JD; professionals working in the field of juvenile delinquency should recognize that offenders might have severe academic delays and learning disabilities.