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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220655 Find in a Library
Title: Girls Will Be Girls: Gender Differences in Predictors of Success for Diverted Youth with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:23  Issue:4  Dated:November 2007  Pages:341-362
Author(s): Bonita M. Veysey; Zachary Hamilton
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored differences between girls and boys in the juvenile justice system assessed by factors commonly associated with recidivism and out-of-community placement.
Abstract: The results of the within-gender analyses revealed that the type and strength of the predictors of out-of-community placement and recidivism differed for girls and boys. Some predictors suggested even opposite effects by gender. Boys had more serious and extensive histories in the justice system; they also had more drug use. Girls exhibited more internalizing disorders and had higher rates of suicide attempts, abuse, and neglect. Boys and girls did not differ in their rates of re-arrest. However, boys were more likely to be placed out of the community in a State-operated facility. Although current risk assessment instruments might have predictive validity for females, and though gender-neutral but male driven programs may work for girls, they cannot guarantee that they are superior, or even equal, to ones created from female samples specifically for use with girls. Most research on effective treatment and crime-reduction programs in juvenile justice is based on adolescent males; it is not known to what degree these programs can be applied without adaptation to girls while having the same impact. These results underscore the necessity to conduct studies of girls and women that are grounded in female-specific theories, using data elements derived from those theories, and collecting information through gender-sensitive methodologies. Some research is emerging that suggests that the type of intervention should be completely different from boys’ programs. The data for the study were collected from a sample of 2,303 youth from 11 counties in New York State who exhibited mental health and substance abuse problems, and had been arrested and referred to local probation for intake or investigation interviews. Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice research; Juvenile mental health services
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Children at risk; Gender; Gender issues; Juvenile Recidivism; Juvenile recidivism prediction; New York; Risk management; Youthful offenders
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