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Don't Forget the Women: A Multi-Level Analysis of Individual and Contextual Effects on Girls' and Boys' Delinquency

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2000
208 pages
This dissertation examines whether neighborhood-level factors have a differential affect on the delinquency of boys versus that of girls.
The author explains that societal context is crucial in understanding juvenile delinquency. Neighborhood-level influences have been found to affect the delinquency of juveniles. However, how these neighborhood-level influences differentially affect girls and boys has received scant attention. To examine this issue, the author analyzed individual-level data from 1,536 middle school students in 6 cities. Neighborhood-level data was obtained for factors such as overcrowding, mobility, unit density, education/occupation, and concentrated disadvantage. Results indicated that individual-level factors did not affect the delinquency of girls differently than it did of boys. However, neighborhood-level analysis indicated that residential mobility and unit density did interact with the sex variable. More specifically, as neighborhood mobility increased, so too did the delinquency of girls. Further, as neighborhood mobility increases, the frequency of girls acts of delinquency increased. As for unit density, the higher the level of unit density, the lower the delinquency of both sexes. However, for this variable girls were affected more than males. Thus, the higher the unit density, the lower the delinquency of girls. The author cautions that this research is limited by its data, which was obtained from a public school sample. References, appendices

Date Published: May 1, 2000