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Program Profile: Juvenile Justice Anger Management (JJAM) Treatment for Girls

Evidence Rating: Promising - One study Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on July 15, 2019

Program Summary

The program is a cognitive–behavioral, anger management treatment for adolescent girls in residential juvenile justice facilities, which is designed to reduce participants’ anger, physical aggression, and relational aggression. The program is rated Promising. Program participants showed statistically significant reductions in anger, physical aggression, and relational aggression scores, compared with the control group.

Program Description

Program Goals/Target Population
Juvenile Justice Anger Management (JJAM) Treatment for Girls is a cognitive–behavioral, anger management, and aggression reduction program for girls who have been placed in residential juvenile justice facilities. The goal is to reduce participants’ anger, physical aggression, and relational aggression in an interactive format that is developmentally appropriate for young females. For example, JJAM incorporates specific instruction on relational aggression, because girls frequently display their anger in this manner. JJAM was adapted from a school-based, anger management program for younger children.

Program Components
JJAM is a 16-session, manualized group intervention that uses a cognitive–behavioral framework and teaches participants emotion regulation, coping, communication skills, cognitive restructuring, and problem solving. The treatment sessions include psychoeducation, skill building, problem solving, and training on application of these skills to real world events. Sessions 1–3 are psychoeducational and teach participants about anger, physical aggression, and relational aggression, and help youths differentiate between anger and aggression. In Session 4, participants learn cognitive-restructuring techniques to view anger-provoking situations from different angles. In Sessions 5–6, participants learn to identify physiological cues and triggers for anger. In Sessions 7–10, participants learn skill building for managing arousal and preventing aggressive behavior. Sessions 11–14 teach participants problem-solving and communication skills, including practice of those skills. Finally, in Sessions 15–16, participants practice generalizing the skills they’ve learned for future use.

Group sessions (which are facilitated by two trained leaders) are 90 minutes long and are held twice weekly for 8 weeks. Each session begins with participants reviewing their goal sheets from the previous session. These goal sheets document the ways in which each girl practiced the skill she learned in the previous session. Previous sessions are then reviewed through techniques such as rhyming catch phrases and visual aids. Next, group leaders use activities to teach the current session’s content and skills, including role play, games, movie clips, and crafts. Participants are also encouraged to provide examples from their lives that elicited their anger or aggression.

At the end of each session, participants establish individual goals and discuss how to apply the skills they learned to real life. Participants can earn both individual and group points by attending and participating in sessions, completing homework, and working toward their goals. These points can be traded in for rewards or privileges (e.g., cosmetic items, stationery, extra phone time).

Program Theory
Aggressive children and adolescents have been found to have deficits in social information processing (SIP). Anger management programs rely on cognitive–behavioral methods of altering youths’ SIP of social goals, solution generation, decision making, outcome expectations, and enactment of behavioral solutions. When youth with anger management issues perceive a threat, they may react with physical or relational aggression, expecting that their behavior will lead to positive results. In addition, research has shown that girls demonstrate higher rates of relational aggression than boys, and anger and aggression are more strongly linked to justice system involvement in girls compared with boys (Goldstein et al. 2018). Anger management programs seek to improve emotion regulation and change reactions, and JJAM specifically caters to the needs of adolescent girls in juvenile justice placements (Goldstein et al. 2018).

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Anger
At posttest, Goldstein and colleagues (2013) found lower levels of anger for participants in the Juvenile Justice Anger Management (JJAM) Treatment for Girls group (as measured by the Novaco Anger Scale and Provocation Inventory), compared with girls in the treatment-as-usual (TAU) control group. This difference was statistically significant.

Physical Aggression
At posttest, girls in the JJAM treatment group showed lower levels of physical aggression (as measured by the Aggression Questionnaire), compared with girls in the TAU control group. This difference was statistically significant.

Relational Aggression
At posttest, girls in the JJAM treatment group showed lower levels of relational aggression (as measured by the Aggression Questionnaire), compared with girls in the TAU control group. This difference was statistically significant.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
Goldstein and colleagues (2018) conducted a randomized controlled trial to test the effects of the Juvenile Justice Anger Management (JJAM) Treatment for Girls in two juvenile justice facilities in New Jersey and one facility in Pennsylvania. Girls were eligible for the study if they were between the ages of 12 and 19, did not have severe developmental or intellectual disabilities, were not actively psychotic, and were placed at the facility for at least 90 days. Seventy girls completed the pretest assessment, and 57 completed the posttest assessment. Eight girls withdrew from the study, and five were no longer at the facility at the time of posttest. Overall, 29 girls were enrolled in the treatment group, and 28 were enrolled in the control group. The treatment group received the JJAM treatment and all other treatment-as-usual activities at the facility. The control group only received the treatment-as-usual activities at the facility, which varied by facility, but included education, health care, social programming, and facility-based individual and group treatments.

Participants in the study ranged from 14 to 20 years old (one girl turned 20 between consent the and the pretest); the average age was 17.5 years. Of the total sample, 62.9 percent were black, 11.4 percent were white, 2.9 percent were Asian, and 22.9 percent were of more than one race. Participants also identified as 74.3 percent not Hispanic and 25.7 percent Hispanic. There were no statistically significant differences between the treatment and control groups on baseline demographics. Participants who did not complete the posttest assessment scored higher on several anger and aggression scales than participants who completed the posttest assessment; however, the participants were comparable on most pretest measures. For this reason, participants who did not complete the posttest assessment were excluded from outcome results. Pretest assessment occurred up to 2 weeks prior to the beginning of the treatment or control period, and posttest assessment occurred up to 2 weeks after the completion of the treatment or control period.

The Novaco Anger Scale and Provocation Inventory (NAS-PI) was used to assess the degree to which participants experienced anger. The NAS-PI measures arousal, anger regulation, behavioral features, and cognitive features of anger, which produces a Total Anger score. The Aggression Questionnaire (AQ) was used to assess individuals’ tendencies to behave aggressively and their abilities to inhibit aggressive behavior. Three of the AQ’s four subscales were used in this study: Anger, Physical Aggression, and Indirect Aggression (which was used to measure relational aggression for this study).

The data was analyzed using a series of analyses of covariance with one posttest score of anger, physical aggression, or relational aggression as the dependent variable and condition (i.e., JJAM treatment condition or TAU control condition) as the independent variable. The pretest score associated with the dependent variable was covaried in the analyses. The study authors did not conduct subgroup analyses.
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Cost

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There is no cost information available for this program.
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Implementation Information

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The JJAM Treatment for Girls: Therapist Training Manual is required for implementation of the Juvenile Justice Anger Management (JJAM) Treatment for Girls program. Leader training consists of manual review, targeted discussions, and skill development based on the specific needs of the population. Leaders role play a practice session and clinical skills prior to administering the program. The group sessions are held in a private room at the residential facilities, and no non-clinical facility staff are in the room during the sessions (Goldstein et al. 2018).
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Goldstein, Naomi E. S., Christy L. Giallella, Emily Haney-Caron, Lindsey Peterson, Jennifer Serico, Kathleen Kemp, Christina Riggs Romaine, Stephen Leff, et al. 2018. “Juvenile Justice Anger Management (JJAM) Treatment for Girls: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Psychological Services 15(4):386–97.
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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Goldstein, Naomi E. S., Amanda Dovidio, Rachel Kalbeitzer, Jennifer Weil, and Martha Strachan. 2008. “Anger Management for Female Juvenile Offenders: Results of a Pilot Study.” Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice 7(2):1–28.

Goldstein, Naomi E.S., Kathleen Kemp, Stephen S. Leff, and John E. Lochman. 2012. “Guidelines for Adapting Manualized Interventions for New Target Populations: A Step-Wise Approach Using Anger Management as a Model.” Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 19(4):385–401.

Goldstein, Naomi E. S., Jennifer M. Serico, Christina L. Riggs Romaine, Amanda D. Zelechoski, Rachel Kalbeitzer, Kathleen Kemp, and Christy Lane. 2013. “Development of the Juvenile Justice Anger Management Treatment for Girls.” Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 20:171–88.

Riggs Romaine, Christina L., Kathleen Kemp, Christy L. Giallella, Naomi E.S. Goldstein, Jennifer Serico, and Sharon Kelley. 2018. “Can We Hasten Development? Effects of Treatment on Psychosocial Maturity.” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 62(9):2857–2876. (This study was reviewed but did not meet CrimeSolutions.gov criteria for inclusion in the overall program rating.)

Wolbransky, Melinda, Naomi E.S. Goldstein, Christy Giallella, and Kirk Heilbrun. 2013. “Collecting Informed Consent with Juvenile Justice Populations: Issues and Implications for Research.” Behavioral Sciences and Law 31:457–76.
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Related Practices

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Following are CrimeSolutions.gov-rated practices that are related to this program:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Antisocial Behavior in Youth in Residential Treatment
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a problem-focused, therapeutic approach that attempts to help people identify and change dysfunctional beliefs, thoughts, and patterns that contribute to their problem behaviors. This variant of CBT focuses specifically on youth in residential settings. This practice is rated No Effects for reducing recidivism, at the 24-month follow-up period.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
No Effects - One Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Multiple crime/offense types



Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Anger-Related Problems in Children and Adolescents
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a problem-focused, therapeutic approach that attempts to help people identify and change dysfunctional beliefs, thoughts, and patterns that contribute to their problem behaviors. This variant of CBT focuses specifically on children and adolescents who have anger-related problems. The practice is rated Effective for reducing aggression and anger expression, and improving self-control, problem-solving, and social competencies.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - More than one Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Aggression
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Anger Experience
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Self-Control
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Mental Health & Behavioral Health - Problem-Solving
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Mental Health & Behavioral Health - Social Competencies
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Program Snapshot

Age: 14 - 20

Gender: Female

Race/Ethnicity: Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, White, Other

Setting (Delivery): Correctional

Program Type: Cognitive Behavioral Treatment, Conflict Resolution/Interpersonal Skills, Gender-Specific Programming, Group Therapy

Targeted Population: Females, Young Offenders, Prisoners

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide

Program Developer:
Naomi Goldstein
Professor of Psychology, Co-Director of the JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology, Director of the Juvenile Justice Research & Reform Lab
Drexel University
Department of Psychology, 3201 Chestnut Street, Stratton Hall, Suite 119
Philadelphia PA 19104
Phone: 215.571.4299
Fax: 215.895.4930
Email

Researcher:
Naomi Goldstein
Professor of Psychology, Co-Director of the JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology, Director of the Juvenile Justice Research & Reform Lab
Drexel University
Department of Psychology, 3201 Chestnut Street, Stratton Hall, Suite 119
Philadelphia PA 19104
Phone: 215.571.4299
Fax: 215.895.4930
Email