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NCJ Number: NCJ 218905     Find in a Library
Title: Violence by Teenage Girls: Trends and Context
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Margaret A. Zahn ; Susan Brumbaugh ; Darrell Steffensmeier ; Barry C. Feld ; Merry Morash ; Meda Chesney-Lind ; Jody Miller ; Allison Ann Payne ; Denise C. Gottfredson ; Candace Kruttschnitt
Date Published: 05/2008
Page Count: 24
  Series: OJJDP Girls Study Group Series
  Annotation: Drawing on information from official arrest sources, nationally based self-report and victimization surveys, and studies reported in the social science literature, this bulletin examines the involvement of girls in violent behavior, including whether such activity has increased relative to the increase for boys and the contexts in which girls engage in violent behavior.
Abstract: For the purposes of this analysis violence is defined as "behaviors that inflict or threaten to inflict bodily injury on other persons." Arrest, victimization, and self-report data suggest that although girls are currently arrested more for simple assaults than previously, the actual incidence of their being seriously violent has not changed much over the last two decades. This suggests that increases in girls' arrests for violence may be due more to change in enforcement policies than to actual changes in girls' behavior. Juvenile female violence has not increased relative to juvenile male violence. The contexts for girls' violence are peer interactions, family interactions, at school, within disadvantaged neighborhoods, and in gangs. Girls fight with peers to gain status, to defend their sexual reputation, and in self-defense against sexual harassment. Girls fight more frequently with parents than do boys, who engage in more violence outside the home. Girls' violence against parents is multidimensional. For some, it involves reactions against their perception of being overly controlled; for others, it is a defense against or anger at being sexually and/or physically abused by family members. Girls fight at school in self-defense. Girls in disadvantaged neighborhoods commit violence due to their increased risk of victimization and frustration at the lack of opportunities for success. Girls associated with male gangs exhibit more violence than those in all-female gangs. Girls in gangs are more violent than other girls, but are less violent than boys in gangs. 2 tables, 5 figures, 8 notes, and 91 references
Main Term(s): Female juvenile delinquents
Index Term(s): Juvenile gang behavior patterns ; Juvenile delinquent family relations ; Male female juvenile offender comparisons ; Parent-Child Relations ; Female gangs ; Gang violence ; Violent females ; OJJDP grant-related documents
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Grant Number: 2004-JF-FX-K001
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Downloaded June 16, 2008
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