Smith, Danielle Marie (2018-08). Girls Who Engage In Delinquency: Adolescent Subtypes and Young Adult Outcomes. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • An increasing number of girls are being charged with crime during their adolescent years, but little is known about what brings these girls to engage in juvenile delinquency or what obstacles these girls face later in their lives as a result of engaging in criminal behavior. In the contexts of General Strain Theory and the Feminist Pathway Theory of criminal behavior, the present study used mixture modeling and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (AddHealth) data set to answer three research questions. RQ1 asks what subtypes of adolescent girls who engage in serious delinquency can be identified using variables related to educational, psychological, and social performance. RQ2 compares the identified female model with a similar male model. RQ3 identifies distal psychological, social, educational, and economic outcomes associated with each identified class of girls who engaged in crime. Results indicated that a 4 class solution was best fit for the subsample of girls who engaged in crime (RQ1). These classes included a Low Victimization class, a Moderate Victimization class, a High Victimization with Psychological Distress class, and a High Victimization with Violent Victimization class. For the male subsample, a 5 class solution was identified as having the best model fit (RQ2). These classes included a Low Victimization class, a Moderate Victimization class, and Moderate Victimization with School Problems class, a High Victimization with Psychological Distress class, and a High Victimization with Violent Victimization class. When young adulthood outcomes were assessed (RQ3), no differences between classes of female offenders regarding rates of unwanted pregnancy, alcohol abuse, or in ratings of anxious personality emerged. However, female classes which experienced more interpersonal violence reported more mental health problems and substance use, worse educational performance, and tended to struggle the most in young adulthood. They had more formal arrests, more severe depression, were more likely to be economically unstable, and to have lower educational attainment. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
  • An increasing number of girls are being charged with crime during their adolescent years, but little is known about what brings these girls to engage in juvenile delinquency or what obstacles these girls face later in their lives as a result of engaging in criminal behavior. In the contexts of General Strain Theory and the Feminist Pathway Theory of criminal behavior, the present study used mixture modeling and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (AddHealth) data set to answer three research questions. RQ1 asks what subtypes of adolescent girls who engage in serious delinquency can be identified using variables related to educational, psychological, and social performance. RQ2 compares the identified female model with a similar male model. RQ3 identifies distal psychological, social, educational, and economic outcomes associated with each identified class of girls who engaged in crime.
    Results indicated that a 4 class solution was best fit for the subsample of girls who engaged in crime (RQ1). These classes included a Low Victimization class, a Moderate Victimization class, a High Victimization with Psychological Distress class, and a High Victimization with Violent Victimization class. For the male subsample, a 5 class solution was identified as having the best model fit (RQ2). These classes included a Low Victimization class, a Moderate Victimization class, and Moderate Victimization with School Problems class, a High Victimization with Psychological Distress class, and a High Victimization with Violent Victimization class. When young adulthood
    outcomes were assessed (RQ3), no differences between classes of female offenders regarding rates of unwanted pregnancy, alcohol abuse, or in ratings of anxious personality emerged. However, female classes which experienced more interpersonal violence reported more mental health problems and substance use, worse educational performance, and tended to struggle the most in young adulthood. They had more formal arrests, more severe depression, were more likely to be economically unstable, and to have lower educational attainment. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

publication date

  • August 2018