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Developmental Sequences of Girls' Delinquent Behavior

NCJ Number
David Huizinga; Shari Miller
Date Published
December 2013
16 pages
This paper presents the findings from the Girls Study Group which examined delinquent behavior in girls.
This publication, from the Office of Justice Programs, presents the findings of the Girls Study Group (GSG). The GSG was developed by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to examine delinquent behavior in girls and establish a theoretical and empirical foundation to guide the development, testing, and dissemination of strategies aimed at reducing or preventing delinquent and violent behavior in girls. The paper begins with a discussion existing research in four areas that examine patterns of delinquency in girls. These four areas are running away and delinquency, developmental life-stage models, stage-state typologies based on personal characteristics, and developmental trajectory approaches. The GSG also conducted a study using information from the Fast Track Project and the Denver Youth Survey to assess the developmental patterns of delinquency in girls. Data from these two studies were used to identify developmental sequences or pathways in girls' delinquency. The findings presented in this paper focus on how girls that engaged in certain delinquent behavior at one age period became involved in other combinations of delinquent behaviors at older age periods. The study found substantial consistency between the epidemiological, temporal, and developmental sequence analyses and samples used in the Fast Track Project and the Denver Youth Survey. The conclusions drawn from this study's findings deal with the types and extent of girls' delinquent behaviors, and the developmental sequences observed in girls' delinquency. Implications from these findings are discussed. Figures, notes, and references