Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review

, Volume 9, Issue 3–4, pp 221–255 | Cite as

Do We Know Which Interventions are Effective for Disruptive and Delinquent Girls?

  • Alison E. HipwellEmail author
  • Rolf Loeber


Disruptive and delinquent girls are not well served by the mental health and juvenile justice systems. Interventions that have been developed for the behavior problems of boys are frequently applied to girls despite growing evidence for a female-specific phenotype, developmental course, and set of risk factors from middle childhood onwards. The current review demonstrates that evidence of the effectiveness of treatments for girls with disruptive and delinquent behaviors is extremely limited, with relatively few studies including sufficient numbers of females or reporting on treatment effects by gender. However, a small body of evidence suggests that interventions specifically designed to address female behavior problems or risk factors can be effective in ameliorating disruptive and delinquent behaviors in both pre-adolescence and adolescence. Multi-modal interventions that target interacting domains of risk also show promise. Methodological issues are discussed and recommendations are made for the development and evaluation of future interventions to prevent and reduce girls’ disruptive and delinquent behavior.


treatment girls disruptive behavior delinquency 



This work was supported by funding from National Institute of Mental Health (MH056630, K01MH071790, and MH66167), National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA012237), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Susan Gillo, Mark Sembower, and Jennifer Wilson in the preparation of this paper.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute & ClinicUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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