American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 46, Issues 1-2, 58-63


Copyright © 2010 American Judges Association. Used by permission.


The identification of etiological factors, risk profiles, and developmental trajectories that explain antisocial, aggressive, and violent behavior is essential to developing effective evidence-based programs that prevent and reduce such behavior in children and youth. What are the key findings from the Gender and Aggression research program that are relevant to the development and delivery of preventative and remedial interventions?

Almost invariably, justice-involved girls have been exposed to multiple forms of maltreatment and neglect. Not surprisingly, these experiences place them in a poor position to navigate the demands of adolescence and adulthood.

Girls involved in the justice system suffer from a wide range of mental health problems, many of which have emerged early in their lives. The vast majority are diagnosed with conduct disorder, and comorbidity with other disorders is exceedingly high.

Compared to justice-involved boys, girls are more likely to have experienced trauma, often linked to sexual abuse and other forms of maltreatment, and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.