Teen Court is a prevention program aimed at diverting first time juvenile offenders from the traditional juvenile justice system and reintegrating them into the community. Few studies have examined if Teen Court impacts adolescent functioning. We examined how Teen Court participation impacted psychosocial functioning, social relationships, and school experiences in a sample of 392 rural Teen Court participants relative to two comparison samples, one from the same county as Teen Court (n = 4276) and one from a neighboring county (n = 3584). We found that Teen Court has the potential to decrease internalizing symptoms, externalizing behavior, violent behavior, parent-adolescent conflict, and delinquent friends, and increase self-esteem and school satisfaction.
- Diversion program
- Youth violence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health