Violent girls in adolescent forensic care are more often psychotic and traumatized than boys in the same level of care




Riittakerttu Kaltiala-Heino, Markku Eronen & Hanna Putkonen

The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology

August 12, 2014




Background: Most research on violent perpetrators is based on male samples. Aims: To compare girls and boys admitted to an adolescent forensic unit due to physically violent and/or sexually coercive behavior.

Methods: On an adolescent forensic ward, demographics, family, treatment, crime and victimization histories, diagnose, psychiatric symptoms and violent behaviors during care of all adolescents are collected in a cumulative database. These were compared between girls and boys admitted due to violent behaviors.

Results: Girls were more often diagnosed with schizophrenia group psychoses. The symptom profiles and violence risk ratings did not differ by sex. The girls were less antisocial in general. They were more suicidal and displayed more promiscuous behaviors, and they had more commonly been victims of sexual abuse. During inpatient care they displayed much more often violent and uncontrollable behaviors than the boys.

Conclusion: Treatment approaches that respond to the special needs of aggressive girls are required.






Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee