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Executive functions of behaviorally distrubed adolescents: A comparison of genders

25 July 2008


Although recent research reveals some evidence that gender differences may affect the development, behavioral expression, and treatment outcome of CD, there is a paucity of studies on Conduct Disordered (CD) females. Researchers have generally relied on studies conducted with CD males, assuming that females develop similarly and exhibit the same manifestations of CD. Although investigations on adolescent girls with CD have begun to emerge, many gaps in the literature still exist. This study examines the association of gender and executive functions (EF) in CD adolescents. The aim of the present study was to investigate the following questions: 1) are there unique patterns of EF related to gender in juvenile delinquents? 2) if no, then do delinquents have EF impairments relative to controls, and 3), do boys' and girls' EF differ? Attention deficit and hyperactive behavior, frequent co-morbid conditions in CD, were controlled for. There were 104 participants, with 26 in each of the four groups, delinquent girls, delinquent boys, control girls, and control boys. The Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) was used to measure EF. There were no interaction effects for gender and delinquency on EF. Main effects were found for gender on verbal fluency and for delinquency on abstraction and organization.


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