Applying Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Intersectionality to Address the Needs of African American Crossover Girls

Abstract

Youth who are victims of maltreatment and engage in delinquency are at a greater risk of adverse emotional and behavioral outcomes compared to those in the general population (Herz and Dierkhising in 2018; Herz et al. in 2019; Stouthamer-Loeber et al. in 2001). “Crossover youth” is a common, collective term for youth who experience maltreatment and engage in delinquency. Current studies suggest girls and African American youth are more likely to experience crossover between the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Yet, there is little existing scholarship, especially conceptual articles, specific to consideration of both race and gender regarding crossover youth. Critical Race Theory (CRT) and intersectionality are utilized to analyze and better understand the overrepresentation of African American girls who cross over from the child welfare to the juvenile justice system. This article concludes with implications for social work action strategies, for micro and macro social work, including policy and research, to better address the unique needs of this population. Race and racism, and how these overlap with experiences as girls and young women, are central and cannot be disentangled and need to be included as social work pays more attention to addressing the needs of this especially vulnerable sub-population of crossover youth.

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This scholarship was supported by a grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Summer/Short-Term Research Publication Grant program.

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Kolivoski, K.M. Applying Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Intersectionality to Address the Needs of African American Crossover Girls. Child Adolesc Soc Work J (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-020-00726-9

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Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Girls
  • Child welfare
  • Crossover youth
  • Juvenile justice