UCI News

Anger, depression much higher among jailed teen girls than boys, study finds

Despite years working with troubled teens, psychologist Elizabeth Cauffman was surprised by the results of her new survey of kids…

July 24, 2007

Despite years working with troubled teens, psychologist Elizabeth Cauffman was surprised by the results of her new survey of kids in juvenile detention centers. Detained girls face very different psychological issues than average teen girls and, in some ways, more severe problems than incarcerated boys. Although girls generally internalize problems, Cauffman found that girls in detention are twice as likely as boys to externalize problems with aggression or anger, and just as likely as boys to report worrisome levels of alcohol or drug use. The study, which appears in the July issue of Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, will help state officials and staff members at youth correctional facilities better understand the mental health of troubled teens in their care.