Category: Dissemination / Implementation

Symposium

Preliminary Outcomes of a Cognitive-Behavioral Program Delivered by Probation Officers for Justice-Involved Girls

Friday, November 17
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Aqua 310, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: Gender | Substance Abuse | Behavioral Medicine
Presentation Type: Symposium

Introduction: The percentage of females among adolescent arrests has steadily grown from 19% in 1985 to 28% in 2010. Girls are now represented at the highest rates ever in juvenile court history. Existing intervention approaches, modeled after the needs of adolescent males, are not as effective with girls. The current study examined the preliminary efficacy of a girl-specific adaptation of Aggression Replacement Training (ART), an evidence-based practice using cognitive-behavioral principles. Girls Only Active Learning (GOAL) makes 2 major adaptations to enhance ART’s effectiveness: 1) given girls’ greater vulnerability to antisocial peers and home conflict, GOAL emphasizes the generalization of skills in interpersonal relationships; and 2) rates of victimization and psychopathology are higher among justice-involved girls than boys, suggesting the need to address the emotional and behavioral sequelae of victimization.


Methods: Participants included 87 girls (age M = 14.52, SD = 3.46; 68% White, 20% Latina, 15% Black, 14% AI/AN, and 7% Asian/Pacific Islander) identified at moderate to high risk for delinquency using the Washington State Juvenile Court Risk Assessment. Girls were assigned to a GOAL group if it was available at the time of their assessment; otherwise they were assigned to treatment-as-usual (TAU). Self-report measures of substance use, delinquency, family conflict, and emotion regulation were collected at baseline, post-intervention, and 3-month follow-up. Probation officers were trained to deliver GOAL in a 2-day workshop followed by weekly consultation calls.


Results: Results from repeated measures ANCOVA with multiple imputation indicated that GOAL girls showed significant declines in delinquency, substance use and family conflict relative to TAU at 3-month follow-up. Differences in emotion dysregulation did not reach statistical significance.


Conclusions: Results of this study highlight the potential of gender-specific programming in juvenile justice. A larger clinical trial following girls over longer periods of time is needed. 

Mylien T. Duong

University of Washington

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Sarah Cusworth Walker

Associate Professor
University of Washington

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Christopher Hayes

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Lucy Berliner

University of Washington

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