Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 323–336

Homicide by juvenile girls

  • Ann B. Loper
  • Dewey G. Cornell
Regular Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF02234666

Cite this article as:
Loper, A.B. & Cornell, D.G. J Child Fam Stud (1996) 5: 323. doi:10.1007/BF02234666


We investigated offense characteristics for a national sample of 38,749 homicide arrestees identified in the FBI Supplemental Homicide Reports for 1984 and 1993. Analyses indicated little change from 1984 to 1993 in the circumstances of homicides committed by adolescent girls; however, there were consistent offense differences between girls and boys, and between girls and women. Homicides by adolescent girls were more likely than those committed by boys to involve interpersonal conflict rather than a criminal motive such as robbery. Girls were more likely than boys to use a knife rather than a firearm and their victims were more likely to be under the age of 13 years. Compared to women (18 years or older), girls were more likely to act with an accomplice and their victims were more likely to be female and between 13 and 20 years of age. Results were inconsistent with a stereotypic masculinization theory of the increase in female violence, but provide indirect support for the importance of domestic stress and relational conflict experienced by adolescent girls. Overall, this study supports the need for differentiated study of violence by juvenile girls, and for preventive interventions which target domestic and interpersonal stress.

Key Words


Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann B. Loper
    • 1
  • Dewey G. Cornell
    • 1
  1. 1.Curry Program in Clinical and School PsychologyUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesville