Juvenile Offenders: Developmental Treatment Considerations

Adolescence is a tumultuous time of profound development across neurocognitive, social, biological, self/identity, and moral domains. Some degree of rule breaking, conflict with authority (e.g., parental, school), and antisocial behavior (e.g., curfew violations) is considered normative during adolescence. However, for adolescents with juvenile justice involvement, the neurobiological, social, and identity-formation tasks of this developmental period may at least partially contribute to the onset and course of delinquent behavior. Therefore, it is imperative that treatment providers who assess and treat youthful offenders target dynamic, changeable risk factors such as antisocial behavior, which may stem from the developmental changes that take place during adolescence, to provide the best opportunity for reducing the likelihood of further antisocial behavior.

Adolescent Brain

The development of the adolescent brain has been the subject ...

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