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Neuropsychological Functioning in Adolescent Males and Females With a History of Juvenile Delinquency

27 July 2007


Delinquent behavior is the reason for the majority of juvenile referrals to mental health agencies and comes at a great cost to society. However, there is limited empirical evidence regarding the relationship of gender, juvenile delinquency, and cognitive abilities. The purpose of the present study was to determine if there are unique patterns of neuropsychological functioning associated with the interaction of juvenile delinquency and gender. Participants were 100 adolescent boys and girls matched for gender, age and ethnicity, with or without a history of conduct problems. Participants were assessed using a variety of neuropsychological measures. Two-way analyses of covariance were conducted and no significant interaction was found. Main effects were found for Color-Word inhibition and Sorting measures of executive functioning and Block Design a measure of visual-spatial abilities; however, only a measure of response inhibition approached significance after controlling for intellectual abilities. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed.


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