What works for Female Children and Adolescents: Lessons from Experimental Evaluations of Programs and Interventions


Child Trends
Kelly Bell

This research brief synthesizes findings from 106 random assignment intent-to-treat evaluations of social interventions that targeted female children, adolescents, and young adults, or co-ed interventions that provide separate data about impacts for the female subgroup. Interventions were excluded from the review if they did not include at least 100 girls in the evaluation sample.

Nine outcome areas were reviewed: Academic Achievement (such as school performance, grades); Delinquency (including crime, arrests, and recidivism); Externalizing or Acting Out Behaviors (behavior problems such as aggression or hyperactivity); Mental Health/Internalizing (Depression) Outcomes (including depressive symptoms, disordered eating, and suicidality); Physical Health and Nutrition (healthy eating, body mass index (BMI), weight or physical activity); Reproductive Health & Sexuality (such as sexual activity, condom and contraceptive use, pregnancy or births); Self Sufficiency (including employment, income, and receipt of public assistance); Social Skills (such as conflict resolution, empathy, relationship building); Substance Use (including alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and illicit drugs).

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