Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 81–107 | Cite as

Female Juvenile Delinquency: Misunderstood by the Juvenile Justice System, Neglected by Social Science

Article

Abstract

The study of juvenile delinquency has focused primarily on conduct disorder and aggression in males, while relatively little attention has been paid to females who commit delinquent acts. This article offers a critical review of the existing theories of and research on female delinquency and the juvenile justice system's response to female delinquency. The inadequacies and persistence of historical theories and the conceptual and methodological strengths and weaknesses of contemporary perspectives in female delinquency are reviewed. Understanding and treatment of female and male delinquency could be enhanced through the adoption of a gender-integrated theory of delinquency that is informed by the comprehensive study of developmental, psychological, and social-ecological determinants.

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© American Psychology-Law Society/Division 41 of the American Psychological Association 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South CarolinaUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueNM

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