Aggressive and antisocial girls: Research update and challenges
There is a growing recognition that a significant number of young women engage in highly aggressive and antisocial behaviors. This acknowledgement has created demands on both policy and program development. The response to these demands, however, has been delayed due to the fact that we still know relatively little about aggressive and antisocial behavior in girls. In this article, we briefly review trends in the rates of aggressive and antisocial acts among female youth, address the issue of gender specific forms of aggression, and discuss research on the role of risk and protective factors. We emphasize the importance of understanding female aggression and antisocial behavior through a dynamic developmental framework that recognizes the cumulative and transactional impact of risk and protective factors over time. Our review focuses on adolescent girls in keeping with research that suggests that the risk for aggressive and antisocial behavior in girls is most acute during this developmental period. © 2002 International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services.
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