Recruitment

Recruitment Status
Completed
Estimated Enrollment
81

Inclusion Criterias

High levels of appetitive aggression (i.e. Scores on the Appetitive Aggression Scale (AAS) > 8 points)
participants are recruited through the community based re-integration program
High levels of PTSD symptoms (i.e. Scores on the PSS-I > 7 points)
High levels of appetitive aggression (i.e. Scores on the Appetitive Aggression Scale (AAS) > 8 points)
participants are recruited through the community based re-integration program
High levels of PTSD symptoms (i.e. Scores on the PSS-I > 7 points)

Exclusion Criterias

acute psychotic episode
acute psychotic episode

Summary

Conditions
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Type
Interventional
Design
  • Allocation: Randomized
  • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
  • Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
  • Primary Purpose: Treatment

Participation Requirements

Age
Between 10 years and 40 years
Gender
Only males

Description

A group of 290 former young male offenders and young males at risk for perpetrating or becoming victims of crime (age 10-40) from Cape Town, recruited via a community based skill-training program has been interviewed in a first step. Participants with neurological or psychiatric disorders other than...

A group of 290 former young male offenders and young males at risk for perpetrating or becoming victims of crime (age 10-40) from Cape Town, recruited via a community based skill-training program has been interviewed in a first step. Participants with neurological or psychiatric disorders other than those resulting from exposure to traumatic stress, like chronic psychosis, were excluded from participation in the study but received referrals in the professional health care system, if necessary. We applied standardised clinical questionnaires in a semi-structured interview for the assessment of exposure to traumatic stress (Children Exposed to Community Violence (CEVC)), trauma symptomatology (PSS-I for diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder), aggression (Appetitive Aggression Scale (AAS); Buss & Perry Aggression Questionnaire), offense types checklist (from the AAS) and related drug abuse, psychosocial functioning (Work and Social Adjustment Scale, WSAS) and suicidality (M.I.N.I. 6.0.0., shortened version). Additionally, we used a questionnaire about social acknowledgement (Social Acknowledgement Questionnaire) and substance dependence (M.I.N.I. version 6.0.0). We set up a randomised clinical intervention trial for the treatment of former offenders that covers violence perpetration on the one hand and traumatization on the other. 90 participants were chosen by the highest aggression scale scores and a certain threshold of trauma symptoms. 17 participants received FORNET, while 14 matched participants received CBT and another 7 matched participants treatment as usual (Waiting List camp) in a camp. Matching took place according to the severity of trauma symptomatology, aggressive behavior and suicidality. 36 participants didn't receive intervention and weren't part of the camp (Waiting List no camp) but were included in the follow-ups. In order to compare the treatment effect with the two control groups and follow the long-term effects, post-treatment assessments with the initial survey were performed about 8, 18 and 25 months post-treatment. After the follow-ups, 17 FORNET participants and 11 CBT participants were included in the analysis. Two CBT clients had been excluded since they had not come to the follow-ups, one CBT client died a relatively sudden death due to a severe disease. The camp waiting list had been reduced to only six persons since one participant of the waiting list has been stabbed to death in a gang fight. Therefore a combined waiting list has been emerged from the two waiting lists ("camp" and "no camp"). 13 men from the "no camp"-waiting list were excluded since they have not been to the follow ups. From the residual 21 clients from this waiting list, 11 have been matched (together with the six participants from the "camp"-waiting list) with the participants from the FORNET and CBT group in terms of post traumatic stress symptom severity, level of appetitive aggression and suicidality. In the end 17 FORNET-, 11CBT- and 17 waiting list-attendees have been included into the analysis, hence a total sample size of 45 participants. The 2 subjects of the control group, that still fulfilled the criteria for the therapy study and were interested in it, received FORNET by trained ZA staff for ethical reasons and to examine whether it is possible to effectively disseminate FORNET. In addition to the subjective data, we will corroborate the results with the assessment of epigenetic consequences of appetitive aggression and trauma and investigate its significance and persistence in the long-term course of the study. We propose that specific DNA methylation patterns are important markers of environmentally driven mental health pathologies, such as chronic aggression/violence and traumatic stress in such a sample of perpetrators or young males at risk for perpetration. Further, we will test the stability of DNA methylation and its potential modification over a period of up to 25 months by behavioural intervention (FORNET). Saliva samples (2ml) were collected through a non-invasive method using Oragene-Discover (OGR- 500) Collection Kit (DNA genotek, Ontario, Canada). We will collect two DNA saliva samples and one RNA saliva sample. Methylation patterns will be assessed at the University of Stellenbosch (Prof. Soraya Seedat), focussing on markers of trauma and violence.

Inclusion Criterias

High levels of appetitive aggression (i.e. Scores on the Appetitive Aggression Scale (AAS) > 8 points)
participants are recruited through the community based re-integration program
High levels of PTSD symptoms (i.e. Scores on the PSS-I > 7 points)
High levels of appetitive aggression (i.e. Scores on the Appetitive Aggression Scale (AAS) > 8 points)
participants are recruited through the community based re-integration program
High levels of PTSD symptoms (i.e. Scores on the PSS-I > 7 points)

Exclusion Criterias

acute psychotic episode
acute psychotic episode

Locations

Capetown
Capetown

Tracking Information

NCT #
NCT02012738
Collaborators
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Stellenbosch
Investigators
  • Principal Investigator: Thomas Elbert, Prof. Dr. University of Konstanz
  • Thomas Elbert, Prof. Dr. University of Konstanz