U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Randomized Trial Comparison of Emotion Regulation and Relational Psychotherapies for PTSD With Girls Involved in Delinquency

NCJ Number
Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology Volume: 41 Issue: 1 Dated: 2012 Pages: 27-37
Julian D. Ford; Karen L. Steinberg; Josephine M. Hawke; Joan Levine; Wanli Zhang
Date Published
11 pages
Since posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is prevalent in youth involved in delinquency, but is often not effectively treated, this study conducted a randomized clinical trial that compared the outcomes of an emotion regulation therapy (Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy, or TARGET) with a relational supportive therapy (Enhanced Treatment as Usual, or ETAU) with 59 delinquent girls (age 13-17 years) who met criteria for full or partial PTSD.

Mixed model regression analyses found generally large effects for pre-post change in PTSD symptoms for both therapies, but not in emotion regulation. Both therapies had small to medium effect changes in anxiety, anger, depression, and posttraumatic cognitions. Treatment Time interactions showed small to medium effects that favored TARGET for change in PTSD (intrusive re-experiencing and avoidance) and anxiety symptoms, posttraumatic cognitions, and emotion regulation, with ETAU favoring change in hope and anger. Results provide preliminary support for TARGET as a potentially effective therapy for PTSD with delinquent girls. Relational therapies such as ETAU may also be beneficial for delinquent girls with PTSD, particularly to enhance optimism and self-efficacy and reduce anger. (publisher abstract modified)