Journal of Quantitative Criminology Volume: 9 Issue: 4 Dated: (December 1993) Pages: 329-355
This paper responds to knowledge gaps regarding female gang participation and its causes and consequences; data from the Rochester Youth Development Study, a panel study that overrepresents adolescents at high risk for delinquency, are used to compare gang participation and delinquent involvement of both female and male adolescents.
Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 7th and 8th grade students from Rochester, New York, public schools and their caretakers. The final student sample consisted of 262 females and 707 males; 15.5 percent were white, 67.6 percent black, and 16.9 percent Hispanic. Study variables included social disorganization, poverty, school expectations, peer delinquency, parent attachment, parent supervision, sexual activity, and self-esteem. For both females and males, gang involvement was associated with substantially increased levels of delinquency and substance use. In addition, some similarity was noted in factors associated with gang membership for both sexes, although lack of school success emerged as a particularly salient factor for female adolescents. Results suggest that theory and intervention need to address the phenomenon of female gang membership as an important component of urban youth problems. An appendix contains data on interview scale construction, with factor loadings where appropriate. 82 references and 4 tables
Date Published: January 1, 1993