Female juvenile delinquency as an expression of trauma: A treatment guide for clinicians

Patricia Eilleen Shea (1999)

Female juvenile delinquency is a rising social concern, particularly because of the increase in violent crimes including assault and battery, armed robbery, and drug-related offenses. The literature cites a strong correlation between child abuse and juvenile delinquency, yet detention programs are hesitant to address trauma, focusing heavily on behavioral treatment approaches. This paper explores the impact of trauma on the acting-out female delinquent and the need to reconceptualize conduct-disordered behavior as re-enactment of the trauma. A treatment guide with the goal to connect past abusive experiences with current acting-out behaviors is presented. The guide is comprised of a review of the literature, presentation of the treatment model, recommended group structure, and materials and activities designed to actively engage clients in treatment. The paper describes the process of creating and editing the treatment guide, discussion about treatment, alternative uses of the treatment guide, as well as strengths and limitations of the work.