This research was supported by grants from the Missouri Department of Social Services and the University of Missouri Research Council.
The Family Context of Relational Aggression in “Difficult to Treat” Female Juvenile Offenders
Version of Record online: 26 AUG 2013
© 2013 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 40, Issue 3, pages 357–366, July 2014
How to Cite
Taylor, E. K. and Borduin, C. M. (2014). The family context of relational aggression in “difficult to treat” female juvenile offenders. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 40, 357–366. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12038
We sincerely thank the many families that participated in this project as well as Robert Perry, Gene Hamilton, Alan Sirinek, and Patrick Brown of the Missouri 13th Judicial Circuit Juvenile Court for their support. We are also indebted to the numerous research assistants who worked on this project.
- Issue online: 21 JUL 2014
- Version of Record online: 26 AUG 2013
- Missouri Department of Social Services
- University of Missouri Research Council
Female juvenile offenders often engage in socially aggressive behaviors that make them more difficult to treat than male juvenile offenders. This social (i.e., relational) aggression may be developed or maintained through transactions with family members. To investigate this issue, we measured relational aggression in the family interactions of 140 adolescents divided by gender and offender status into four equal-sized groups (female juvenile offenders, male juvenile offenders, female nonoffenders, and male nonoffenders). Adolescents and caregivers completed a family discussion task, and raters coded relationally aggressive behaviors at the dyadic level. Results showed that female juvenile offenders and their mothers directed more relational aggression toward each other than did mother–adolescent dyads in the other groups. Implications of these results for treatment and research are discussed.