Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Self-Silencing, Trauma, and Mental Health Among Juvenile Legal System-Involved Youth [2020]

The current study investigates the impact of trauma exposure on adolescent girls’ and boys’ self-silencing and the impact of self-silencing on and internalizing and externalizing mental health symptoms. Results are informed by data from 206 legal system-involved youth ages 12 to 18 in short-term detention facilities. Hierarchical regression analyses with gender modeled as a moderator revealed that girls with greater trauma exposure were less likely to self-silence, and girls with lower levels of self-silencing were at increased risk for depressive and anxious symptoms. This study has implications for trauma-informed approaches in juvenile legal settings, which may inadvertently reward emotional restriction.

Megan Granski, Shabnam Javdani, Corianna E. Sichel, Morgan Rentko
Feminist Criminology, September 10, 2020