This study examines the racialized gender differences of mental health service use, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and recidivism for justice-involved African American youth. Analyses were based on the Northwestern Juvenile Project Study, the first prospective longitudinal study that explores the mental health and substance use disorders and needs among a juvenile justice-involved population. Findings indicate that justice-involved African American girls were significantly more likely to receive mental health services at Follow-up 1 compared to boys and have a higher number of cumulative ACEs compared to boys at baseline. African American girls who received mental health services were more likely to be re-arrested compared to African American boys over time. We advocate for culturally responsive and gender responsive services to reduce recidivism among justice-involved African American youth. Furthermore, it is important to recognize bias within the juvenile justice system that may hinder positive outcomes for youth. Implications for practice and policy are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Adverse Childhood Experiences
- African American youth
- Gender differences
- Mental health treatment