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The International Forensic Screening and Assessment Network for Adolescents

InForSANA is a consortium of researchers in many countries collaborating in behavioral health research in juvenile justice populations.  Together they study the mental health and behavioral needs of delinquent youth, offering a special capacity for cross-national and cross-cultural comparisons.  

InForSANA began in 2010 with the assistance of NYSAP.  Its objective was to provide standardized methods, and researcher collaborations, that would further cross-national behavioral health studies in juvenile justice settings.  Participants of InForSANA currently include researchers and practitioners in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Soviet Union, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States.  The central coordinator of InForSANA in Europe is Robert Vermeiren, M.D., Ph.D., ( at Curium-Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands. 

InForSANA has created a scientific infrastructure to strengthen its potential to produce integrated research to examine behavioral health problems among juvenile justice-involved youth.   This infrastructure permits uniform research methods across sites and studies that use the MAYSI-2 and other standardized tools.  To further that objective, InForSANA has developed:

  • A uniform set of variables for use in their research data bases (employing a standardized data base system called ProMISe).  This allows various research data bases to be merged meaningfully, providing opportunities for cross-study comparisons.

  • A MAYSI-2 International Standard Mini-Manual that has been translated into 11 languages.  This provides uniform procedures for applying the MAYSI-2 across InForSANA research projects and clinical settings in various countries.

The following are representative published studies that have involved individual or collaborative efforts among InForSANA researchers to study behavioral health needs of juvenile justice-involved youth. 

Ethnicity and Behavioral Health Problems among Juvenile Offenders

Colins, O.F., Boonmann, C., Veenstra, J., van Domburgh, L., Buffing, F., Doreleijers, T.A.H., & Vermeiren, R.R.J.M. (2013).  Mental health problems and recidivism among detained male adolescents from various ethnic origins. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. doi: 10.1007/s00787-013-0384-z

Colins, O., Grisso, T, Vahl, P., Guy, L., Mulder, E., Hornby, N., Prorik, C., Markis, M, Dorelejiers,  T., & Vermeiren, R. (2015).  Standardized screening for mental health needs of detained youths from various ethnic origins: The Dutch Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Second Version (MAYSI-2).  Journal of Psychopathology and Behavior Assessment, 37, 481-492.

Dolitzsch, C., Leenarts, L., Schmeck, K., Fegert, J., Grisso, T., & Schmid, M. (2017).  Diagnostic performance and optimal cut-off scores of the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-second version in a sample of swiss youths in welfare and juvenile justice institutions.  BMC Psychiatry, 17, 2-9.

Leenarts, L., Dolitzsch, C., Schmeck, K., Fegert, K., Grisso, T., & Schmid, M. (2016).   Relationship between Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-second version and psychiatric disorders in youths in welfare and juvenile justice institutions in Switzerland.                   BMC Psychiatry,16, 340-

Van Damme, L., Grisso, T., Vermeiren, R., Guy, L., Verbeke, L., De Clercq, B, Schmid, M., Vanderplasschen, W., & Colins, O. (in press).  Cross-national gender similarities and differences in self-reported mental health problems among youths in residential welfare/justice institutions.  Children and Youth Services Review.

Special Behavioral Health Issues among Girls in Juvenile Justice

Colins, O. F., Van Damme, L., Andershed, H., Fanti, K. A., & DeLisi, M. (2015). Self-reported psychopathic traits and negative outcomes in detained girls: A prospective study. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice. doi: 10.1177/1541204015619659

Van Damme L., Hoeve, M., Vermeiren, R., Vanderplasschen, W., & Colins, O. (2016). Quality of life in relation to future mental health problems and offending: Testing the Good Lives Model among detained girls. Law and Human Behavior. 40 (3), 285-294. Doi: 10.1037/lhb0000177

Van Damme L., Colins, O., & Vanderplasschen, W. (2015). The limited prosocial emotions specifier for conduct disorder among detained girls: A multi-informant approach. Criminal Justice and Behavior. 10.1177/0093854815613104

Van Damme, L., Grisso, T., Vermeiren, R., Guy, L., Verbeke, L., De Clercq, B., Schmid, M., Vanderplasschen, W., & Colins, O. F. (2016). Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument for mental health needs of youths in residential welfare/justice institutions: identifying gender differences across countries and settings, The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/14789949.2016.1183034

Van Damme L., Hoeve, M., Vanderplasschen, W., Vermeiren, R., Grisso, T., & Colins, O. (2015). Detained girls’ treatment engagement over time: The role of psychopathology and quality of life. Children and Youth Services Review. 59, 47-56

Van Damme, L., Colins, O., De Maeyer, J., Vermeiren, R., & Vanderplasschen, W. (2015). Girls’ Quality of life prior to detention in relation to psychiatric disorders, trauma exposure and socio-economic status. Quality of Life Research. 24(6), 1419-1429.

Van Damme, L., Colins, O., & Vanderplasschen, W. (2014). Gender differences in psychiatric disorders and clusters of self-esteem among detained adolescents. Psychiatry Research. 220, 991-997

Behavioral Health Disorders of  Sexually Offending Juveniles

Boonmann, C., Nelson, R., DiCataldo, F., Jansen, L.M.C., Doreleijers, Th.A.H., Vermeiren, R.R.J.M., Colins, O.F., & Grisso, T. (2015). Mental health problems in sexually offending and general offending juveniles: A comparison based on the MAYSI 2. Criminal Behavior and Mental Health. DOI: 10.1002/cbm.1961

Boonmann, C., van Vugt, E.S., Jansen, L.M.C., Colins, O.F., Doreleijers, T.A.H., Stams, G.J. & Vermeiren, R.R.J.M. (2015). Mental disorders in juvenile sexual offenders: a meta-analysis. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 24, 241-249. DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2015.06.003.

Boonmann, C., Grisso, T., Guy, L., Colins, O., Mulder, E., Vahl, P., Jansen, L., Doreleijers, T., & Vermeiren, R., (2016).  Childhood traumatic experiences and mental health problems in sexually offending and non-sexually offending juveniles.  Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 10, 1-8.

‘t Hart-Kerkhoffs, L.A., Boonmann, C., Doreleijers, T.A.H., Jansen, L.M.C., Wijk, A.P., & Vermeiren, R.R.J.M. (2015). Mental disorders and criminal re-referrals in juveniles who sexually offended.  Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 9(4), 1-7. DOI 10.1186/s13034-015-0035-x