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NCJ Number: 196049 Find in a Library
Title: Gender Differences in Psychopathology, Functional Impairment, and Familial Risk Factors Among Adjudicated Delinquency
Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry  Volume:41  Issue:7  Dated:July 2002  Pages:860-867
Author(s): Kristen M. McCabe Ph.D.; Amy E. Lansing Ph.D.; Ann Garland Ph.D.; Richard Hough Ph.D.
Editor(s): Mina K. Dulcan M.D.
Date Published: July 2002
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tested four cross-gender hypotheses predicting more severe psychological disturbance and environmental risk among delinquent girls compared with delinquent boys.
Abstract: Past research on both male and female delinquency has focused primarily on male delinquents even with the shift toward increased female offending. To address the gap in the literature, this study tested four cross-gender hypotheses predicting female delinquents would have higher rates of parent-reported and self-reported psychological symptoms, DSM-IV psychiatric and substance use disorder, parent-reported functional impairment, and familial risk factors for delinquency. The study surveyed a representative sample of 1,715 youths aged 6- to 17-years-old who were active to 1 or more public sectors of care in San Diego County during 1996-1997. Parents/primary caregivers were interviewed about the child’s demographics, psychological symptoms, service use history, and exposure to risk factors. Three out of the four hypotheses were at least partially supported. Female delinquents had higher rates of parent-reported and self-reported psychological symptoms and higher rates of most DSM-IV disorders. In addition, female delinquents were more likely to have a history of almost all forms of parental abuse and neglect and most likely to have a family history of mental illness than male delinquents. In general, the hypothesis that female delinquents would have greater rates of psychopathology and familial risk factors than males was supported across multiple indices. The first step toward improving the poor adult outcomes faced by many girls is a greater recognition of the unique needs of female juvenile delinquents at an early stage. The strengths and limitations of the study are briefly presented. References
Main Term(s): Male female juvenile offender comparisons
Index Term(s): Female juvenile delinquents; Gender issues; Juvenile delinquency; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prediction; Male juvenile delinquents; Psychological causes of delinquency; Psychological research
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