HIV risk behavior and internalizing/externalizing psychopathology among adolescents in court-ordered treatment

Robert C. McMahon, Evan T. Stanforth, Jessy G. Dévieux, Michèle Jean-Gilles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The confluence of drug use behaviors, sexual risk, and psychopathology may complicate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention intervention for adolescents engaging in substance use and criminal behavior. However, few studies have examined these risk associations. Objective: This study identified HIV risk behavior subgroups among adolescents in court-ordered substance abuse treatment and examined linkages with dimensions of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. Methods: Internalizing and externalizing behaviors were assessed with the Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory (MACI). Latent class analysis was used to identify subgroups on the basis of involvement in substance use proximal to sex, number of partners, and consistency of condom use. Results: Participants (n = 301) were identified as demonstrating high, medium, or low levels of sexual risk behavior. Greater externalizing psychopathology distinguished the high risk class from the medium risk class and from the low risk class. Conclusion: Detained youth with particularly serious oppositional-defiant behavioral characteristics, substance use, and sex risk behavior likely require intensive interventions that address the multiple systemic factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of this pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016


  • Adolescent
  • Externalizing
  • HIV risk behavior
  • Internalizing
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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