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NCJ Number: 192226 Find in a Library
Title: Relationships' Role in Female Juvenile Delinquency
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:63  Issue:7  Dated:December 2001  Pages:76-79
Author(s): Sheila R. Peters
Date Published: December 2001
Page Count: 4
Type: Guideline
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article addresses the role of relationships in the development of female juvenile delinquency.
Abstract: There has been an increase in violent crime index offenses by female juvenile offenders. Possible developmental trajectories for antisocial behavior in adolescent females are being developed and studied. One significant risk factor is negative, traumatic relationships for female adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system. How adolescent girls view relationships, particularly negative relationships; their attitudes and perceptions about others; the meanings they place on their relationship experiences; and how these experiences shape their current relationships are critical questions regarding their relationship histories. Relationships represent sources of both joy and pain for adolescent females. Relationship-based intervention models are needed to help girls learn about healthy relationships. The need to connect with others may contribute to prolonged involvement in victimization. Relationships are at the center of aggressive response in adolescent females. This involves harming others by harming the relationship. Relational aggression may include isolating a peer from interaction within one’s targeted peer group, ignoring or avoiding someone, spreading lies and/or gossiping about an individual, and engaging in a variety of nonverbal, negative behaviors. Relational aggression may represent a precursor to the use of overt aggression among adolescent females. Gender-specific program interventions that are relationship-based include individual, group and family therapy, and service learning models. Individual therapy, counseling, and mentoring should focus on self-nurturing skills, self-esteem building, and positive womanhood development, which focuses on teaching girls to embrace their femaleness and honor and respect their identities. Family intervention can help adolescent females confront family dynamics that disempower the developing females. Three areas should receive focus in implementing relationship-based interventions: staff-to-girl ratios, staff development, and rigorous research models investigating the development of female juvenile delinquency. 10 references
Main Term(s): Female juvenile delinquents; Treatment
Index Term(s): Case management; Female offenders; Female status offenders; Juvenile delinquency; Juvenile treatment methods; Treatment techniques
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