"A Multiple Biomarker Approach to Investigating Psychosocial Treatment Response in Justice-involved Youth with Conduct Disorder"
Some youth who are in conflict with the law have a history of violence. Many also display conduct disorder, which is a serious behavioural and psychiatric illness associated with disruptive and aggressive behaviour. Fortunately, talk-based therapies have been shown to reduce violence and aggression in these youth. The Stop Now And Plan (SNAP) model is one of the best-studied treatment for aggression and violence in youth. SNAP teaches youth to make better choices in the moment and works to reduce impulsive behaviour, a strong risk factor for violence in this population. The SNAP Youth Justice model has been developed for youth in conflict with the law. We propose using a state-of-the-art brain-imaging technique, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to learn how this SNAP Youth Justice model impacts brain function in treated youth. We also propose studying how it affects morning cortisol levels, a stress hormone. We will recruit justice-involved youth with conduct disorder and a history of violent behaviour from the Youth Justice Clinic at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.