Prevalence of Female Juvenile Delinquency

This study is an analysis of female delinquency in selected areas of the United States. The aim of the study is to explore available literature and statistics on this phenomenon, which scholars are of the view that it has been largely neglected. General statistics points to the fact that there is a general rise in juvenile female delinquency. The causes of this trend vary and are influenced by socio-economic demographics among other factors. The aim of this study is therefore to explore these causes, evaluate their prevalence and assess the profile of girls who are likely to become delinquent. The study will adopt a comparative nature, where statistics from Washington Metropolitan Area, Florida and Maryland will be analyzed. To achieve a focused analysis, a primary research will be carried out which will rely on existing and established literature sources to make recommendations for appropriate intervention measures.

The study of girls delinquency has been a rare phenomenon among social scholars for a long period of time. One of the underlying reasons for this tendency has been the fundamental fact that girls are less likely to be delinquent compared to boys. As such, a great deal of efforts has been channeled towards studying boys, their juvenile tendencies and how the justice system handles them (Chesney-Lind, 1997). In the recent past, especially the latter part of the 20th century and this century, the rise in statistics of girls delinquency has raised considerable interest in the issue. It is now a common belief, based on social statistics that the rate of girls delinquency has been increasing at a faster rate than that of the boys. For this reason, this study aims to put efforts to analyze this phenomenon, by analyzing available statistics, literature theories as well as doing a primary research to establish the trends. To address this trend, a realistic approach would be to scrutinize available statistics on girls arrests and involvement in gangs in specific states and relate the statistics with existing theoretical frameworks on the likely causes of girls involvement in crime. In this study, the approach will be to do a thorough document search on the topic and couple it with a primary research based on interviews on a selected respondents population, who the researcher feels would be in a position to respond to questions on juvenile females.

Background of the Study
The frequency of juvenile female delinquency varies geographically with some states recording higher rates as compared to others. Generally, states with a high poverty index have a high rate of juvenile female delinquency. Based on the two comparative areas adopted in this study (Washington Metropolitan Area and Florida), data available shows a significant difference between female juvenile delinquency in areas such as Florida and Maryland. The tables below compare the trends and numbers from the two geographical areas

Table 1. Florida Top Female Offenses, 1993
OffenseNumberPercentLarceny8,04548Miscellaneous2,29614Simple assault1,4539Aggravated assault1,1527Burglary8365Motor vehicle theft7334Drug arrest4863Liquor law violations2732Vandalism2381Weapons violations2041Adapted from httpojjdp.ncjrs.govpubsgenderstate-fl.html

Table 2. Maryland Top Female Offenses, 1993
OffenseNumberPercentAssault2,15221.5Theft1,51015.1Shoplifting1,02810.3Ungovernable behavior7347.3Alcohol violations5675.7Runaway4594.6Auto theftunauthorized use4204.2Other419 4.2Unspecified misdemeanor368 3.7Disorderly conduct357 3.6Adapted from httpojjdp.ncjrs.govpubsgenderstate-md.html

From the report, a large number of youths were living in poor families (whose income was below 50 of poverty level index in 1995) in Florida than in Maryland. On average, the poverty level in Florida can be associated with the averagely high female juvenile arrests in Florida than in Maryland during the time.

Purpose of the study
As mentioned above, the number of girls being involved in juvenile delinquent cases has increased manifold in the recent past. It is the hypothesis of this study that this increment is founded on a number of factors, which requires analysis so that if possible, they can help in shaping policies concerning girls delinquency. The aim of the study will hence be to explore and analyze the juvenile female and correlate it with causal factors, primarily poverty. The areas targeted to guide this research are the Washington Metropolitan area which incorporates Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland. As a comparative guide, an analysis of juvenile female will also be analyzed in Florida and Baltimore and assess whether there exists similarities or differences in the trends in the two comparative areas. The fact that the cases of juvenile females has been increasing is of concern not only to the immediate families of such girls but also to the society at large. The study will hence make an analysis of what female delinquency means to the society, its impact and future implications. In regard to the policy making bodies, female delinquency is also a matter of concern and the study will put efforts in analyzing whether there exists bodies dealing with the issue and if they exist, the strategies that they adopt to curb the problem. In addition, this study will assess whether there are remedies to the situation and what roles different agencies such as the family, religious organizations, the criminal justice department and other agencies dealing with young people issues should play in juvenile female delinquency.

Objectives of the study

Broad objective
To examine and analyze juvenile female delinquency and its causal agents primarily poverty in the Washington Metropolitan and compare it with that in Baltimore and Florida. To aid in a focused analysis of the broad objective, the study will adopt specific objectives that can analyze each issue narrowly.  As such, the specific objectives of the study will be

To examine the profile (personality) of girls who end up in juvenile crime.

To assess the psycho-social and emotional characteristics of girls that predisposes them to juvenile delinquency tendencies.

To study juvenile female and poverty in the specified areas (Washington metropolitan area compared to Florida and Baltimore)

To assess statistical trends of female delinquency available from official sources such as the FBI and other government agencies.

To evaluate causes of female delinquency in the target areas.

To compare the trends of female delinquency with those of their counterparts boys in crime.

To assess the crimes that girls in crime are likely to involve in by relying on data available from the two areas in comparison.

Analyze whether there are efforts by the government or other institutions geared towards assisting juvenile female either by advocating for their cause or by engaging in rehabilitation and other efforts that can aid juvenile girls.

Research Questions
This study is founded on a fact-finding approach in which the researcher aims to investigate female delinquency in its wide context. As such, the study will analyze the causes, the processes of becoming a delinquent female, the criminal justice system approach to the delinquent females, the predisposing factors and conditions, efforts in place to assist the group as well as the future prospects of the delinquent female. To aid in this broad analysis, the study will adopt the following study questions to act as a guide
Which family background factors contribute to female delinquency
What roles do school (or lack of it) play in contributing to female delinquency
What do statistics show on female delinquency in the selected areas
Are there impacts of female delinquency to the society
Does over criminalization contribute to too much arrest of young girls caught in minor crimes
How do girls get initiated into gangs Are there predisposing factors
Are there biological (nature) contributions to girls getting in crime
What roes do institutions such as religious bodies and behavior modeling institutions play in curbing female delinquency
Which crimes do girls get into
Using these questions as a guide, the researcher is assured of doing a focused analysis that may reflect the real situation of female delinquency in the selected areas.

Significance of the Study
In the study of crime, a significant observation is that there exist gender assumptions and disparities in the whole process of crime commission and the consequent criminalization process. A primary fact is that traditionally, women are les likely to be involved in crime compared to their men counterparts.

When statistics points to the fact that the rate of female delinquency is increasing more than that of men, there is bound to be concerns on the reasons behind the trend. Considering also the role that young girls are expected to play in the society in their adulthood, it is prudent to assess why they are caught up in crime at their young age, with an aim of exposing the causes and possibly recommending solutions that can curb the issue. For this reason, this study is significant since it may illuminate the causes, suggest solutions and unearth facts that are not yet in the public domain which can be used as a modality of addressing the critical issue of young girls turning to crime.

Abbreviations and Definitions
FBI- Federal Bureau of Investigation
RTI-Research Triangle Institute
OJJDP- Office of Juvenile Justice  Delinquency Prevention
For the sake of this study, the following terms will be defined as follows
Juvenile Delinquency- A broad-based term that refers to children who commit crimes (in most jurisdictions, one is considered a child if he is below 18 years of age)
Religiosity- How important religion is to the life of a girl (in this study)

Literature Review
There has been a consistent rise in the interest among scholars and researchers on the issue of female delinquency especially precipitated by an apparent rising trend of girls getting into crime in many States. The FBIs UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting Program), shows that the number of girls arrested in criminal cases have risen tremendously since the 1980s. In the 80s, juvenile females represented only approximately 11 which rose to 18 by 2000 (Scahill, 2000). On the ground, over 75 of all juvenile arrests consist of males who over the years have shown an apparent decline as opposed to their counterpart females who have been rising steadily with time (RTI, 2009). According to Zahn (2005, p. 1), there were approximately 640,000 arrests of juvenile girls under the age of 18 in 2006. Most of the arrests were based on minor crimes such as simple assault, disorderly conduct, larceny and running from their homes. There was however a significant number that was involved in considerable serious offences such as burglary and aggravated assault. There is also a likely possibility that a great number of crimes committed by the juvenile girls go unreported. In a survey conducted by Monitoring the Future in 2006, 26 of girls under 18, mostly in high schools reported having been involved in shoplifting, 15 admitted involvement in gang fight while 32 reported having been involved in some kind of theft. This indicates that theres a possibility of underreporting and therefore underestimates in the statistics on female delinquency.

Profile of a delinquent female
The factors that lead to female delinquency may have similarity with those that causes male delinquency. However, scholars are of the view that girls are more vulnerable than their male counterparts. According to OJJDP (1998), most of the girls who end up in delinquency share a number of similarities which include

The female delinquent is 14-16 years old. A small percentage may have shown tendencies when they were a bit younger than this.

Poverty ridden background
Early age in a high crime neighborhood likely to harbor dens of drugs
From a minority group. (African American constitutes 50 of female delinquents, Hispanics are 34 while 34 are Caucasian)
Poor academic history and a high probability of being a school drop out.
Has in the past used alcohol or abused drugs
Past history of sexual, physical, exploitation or emotional abuse.
Poor background in medical check ups.
Harbors a general negativity towards life views life as oppressive and cruel.
It should however be noted here that not all girls who fit this profile end up in delinquency. A good number of girls exposed to these problems remain resilient and are able to overcome their early life challenges (OJJDP, 1998).

Magnitude of Juvenile female delinquency
The most prevalent youth delinquency occurs among boys. Theirs is more pronounced and physical and is characterized by occurrences such as physical lashing out, getting into fights, setting fires, breaking and destroying items as well as carrying offensive items such as daggers and guns. For this reason, delinquent boys are easy to be noticed because they easily transform to look dangerous and inspire fear. For this reason, it may be easy to implement intervention measures for boys since their delinquency is observable from an early age. According to Prescott (1997), girls get delinquent very quietly and it may take a long time to realize that it has happened. He argues that most of them enter delinquency as victims rather than offenders. The greatest contributing factor comes due to disappointments anger and fright which make them result to emotional snubbing activities that help them escape from their real experiences. Girls who get delinquent start by abusing themselves other than offending the immediate society. For this reason, their delinquency seems harmless and it is easily ignored. The ignorance of the problem by their immediate society drives them to be more desperate and in their bid to seek for solutions, they turn to drugs, prostitution, starving and in worst cases, physical self-assault where they mutilate their bodies (Belknap, 1996).

In a study commissioned by OJJDP in 1996 and conducted by Poe-Yamagata and Butts (1996), the following statistics on female delinquency was collected
The arrests of girls between 15-18 years of age rose from approximately 100 to over 200 per 100,000 females in the period 1983-1992.

In 1992 alone, 121 out of 100,000 females of age 10-17 were arrested for violent crimes offenses.
Law enforcement agencies in the US arrested approximately 570,100 females below 18 years of age in 1993.

In a period of ten years (1983-1992), the overall female juvenile arrests increased by 23, more than double that of their counterpart males which was 11.

In the period 1989-1993, female arrests contributed to a 17 rise in juvenile crimes index (Poe-Yamagata  Butts,. 1996 p. 1-3).

Of 1,489,700 juvenile cases handled by Juvenile courts in the US in 1993, 20 involved females.
The justice system processed female delinquent cases less formally than those involving boys and girls were less likely to be placed in out-of-home placements or detention

In data available for 1993, juvenile females were charged with different offenses which included 6 for non-negligent manslaughter and murder, 9 for robbery, 18 (aggravated crime) and 2 were charged with forcible rape. In property crimes, juvenile females were involved in 31 for larceny, 10 for burglary, 14 for automobile theft and 12.5 for arson charges. Non-index offences in which juvenile females were involved in included 4 for gambling, 9 for sex offences, 8 for weapon offences, 57 for home run-away and approximately 55 for prostitution (Poe-Yamagata  Butts,. 1996 p. 1-3).

It is important to note here that the double digit increase of girls arrests was contributed by particular crimes as opposed to others. The highest percentage resulted from aggravated assault and very little percentage on crimes such as murder, rape or other high index crimes.

In addressing juvenile female delinquency, a critical component that requires analysis regards how the criminal justice system handles crimes committed by female offenders. According to Chesney-Lind and Pasco (2004, vii) the criminal justice system is riddled with victimization, violence, economic marginalization and discrimination which women caught up in crime have to go through.  According to Poe-Yamagata  Butts (1996), the criminal justice system has traditionally shown leniency to the manner it handles female convicts as compared to their male counterparts.  In their study, they identified a discrepancy in the severity of outcomes preferred for both females and males. For instance, females are less likely to be filed for delinquency petition as compared to their male counterparts. In addition, formal handling of female cases is significantly low compared to that of males.

Causes of female delinquency
According to Zahn et al (2008), the official data on girls delinquency has increased significantly in recent years. Part of the explanation of this phenomenon has been a remarkable increase in arrest rates associated with over criminalization and also, the fact that there has been little study in girls delinquency in the past. As of 2004, 25 of all juvenile arrests on aggravated assault charges were female and 33 for other assaults. These figures are sharp increase from the figures that were available in the 1960s when the arrest for females barely exceeded a single digit figure. Of great importance is to analyze some of the reasons why girls become delinquent. It is worth to mention here that past efforts have concentrated on Juvenile delinquency by boys as opposed to girls (American Bar Association  National Bar Association, 2001). As such, little information is available from the past on trends and statistics of female delinquency. The studies available however show some commonality in their research on this issue. Some of the fundamental causes that have repeatedly been identified with delinquency for both boys and girls as profiled by the Girls study Group in the Justice Department includes
Family dynamics- this aspect broadly covers the childs parental upbringing which is assumed as essential in shaping the moral values and character of the child. Fundamental issues in this factor include historical criminal behavior of the family, child maltreatment, parental supervision and monitoring of the childs behaviors and roles. Children from stable families are less likely to become delinquent (RTI, 2009).

Involvement in school activities- the activity of a child in a school determines the peers and places a child frequents. Children involved in responsible programs and are active in academic frontiers are less likely to become delinquent.

The childs early neighborhood  key factors here includes poverty level, employment rate and crime level in a given locality. Poverty and high crime have a strong correlation with the likelihood of Juvenile delinquency. The childs early life is crucial in the socialization process and has an enduring impact on the moral and values foundation of the child.

In addition to these factors, there are those that are likely to influence delinquency in girls more than in their boys counterpart, primarily because of the differences in their biological growth patterns. Such factors include.

Sexual maltreatment and abuse- Historically, the cases of sexual mistreatment for girls are more prevalent than those for boys. Such occurs in the form of rapes, sexual harassment and sexual assaults. Sexual abuse of any kind reduces the self-worth of an individual and when it occurs to girls, it increases their fear, loneliness, negativity and escapism that acts as push factors for juvenile delinquency (RTI, 2009).

Early puberty- This is a biological factor for which girls have little control. Due to sudden changes in their bodys functions and emotional control, girls are most vulnerable at this period due to the pressures associated with the onset of sudden body changes. Though this factor only acts as a predisposing factor, its tendency to cause delinquency increases in families that are dysfunctional and in neighborhoods where the girls receive little protection and guidance during this period. The biological changes occurring during this period may also increase the chances of conflicts between the girl and her close family which could push her to look for relief from outside sources, thereby exposing herself to delinquent tendencies.

Depression and anxiety- These are emotional problems which are more prevalent in adolescent girls than boys. A great tendency for girls undergoing these conditions is to engage in escapism where one seeks relief objects to restore ones well being. For a girl who can access drugs from peers during this condition, there is a high likelihood of engaging in abuse and consequent behaviors (Obeidallah  Earls, 1999).

Romantic partners- The accompanying biological changes that occur in girls during their puberty heighten their interest and association with their male colleagues in form of friendships. At this stage, the consequent relationships are ridden with infatuation and love blindness which makes both susceptible to influence. It is highly likely for a girl to be influenced to delinquent behaviors by their boyfriends and studies show that most girls commit crimes through influence from their male intimate friends.

An analysis of the factors above reveals that the likelihood of occurrence increases with increased dysfunctions in a girls upbringing and exposure to dehumanizing prevalence of poverty and abuse. It can hence be projected that if these factors were addressed, there would be a likely reduction of girls delinquency. Studies in this area have shown that there exist factors which reinforce the strength of young girls and reduce the likelihood of juvenile delinquency. The majority of such factors are entwined in broad concepts such as availability of support, religiosity, school connectedness (positive perception of school life) and success in school work.  Based on these broad concepts, girls delinquency can be minimized by

Presence of caring adults- Such adults would generally denote parents, siblings or close relatives whose lives can serve as examples to the young girls. A study by Zahn et al (2008) revealed that young adolescent girls who were raised in functional families and in the security of caring adults were less likely to engage in any kind of offenses.

School success- Measured in terms of performance in school exams, girls with outstanding performance as a result of hard work are less likely to engage in delinquency.  A majority of school work is tedious and time consuming and this keeps them busy and out of trouble. Besides that, it gives the girls a sense of success and appreciation which improves self concept, identity, worth and values which are key in forming a focused personality. In contrast, girls with poor school performance have a high probability of being idle and disinterested in engaging activities and therefore find themselves with extra time that contributes to boredom and longing for excitement.

School connectedness- this factor is a broad connotation of the emotional and psychological attachment of the girl to the school institutions.  Girls with strong connectedness are likely to be positively inspired by their school environment which would contribute to positive relations with their peers. It would also increase responsibility and thereby shelter the girl from delinquency.

Religiosity- This is a reflection of the girls attachment to religious values. Girls with a high correlate of religiosity are less likely to be delinquent. The strength of this factor is also reinforced by the girls background such as strong family religious background, strong affiliation to a religious institution and the possibility of being an active member of a group within such religious bodies.

Research Methods
This section details the manner in which the data presented in this study was obtained. Primarily, the study aimed to collect both primary and secondary data that would then be consequently analyzed (quantitatively and qualitatively) to reflect the desired results in this study. Reliable primary data could only be accessed through established authorities who would be in a position to respond to questions concerning girls delinquency. As such, an interview questionnaire was used in interviewing twelve respondents who the researcher had sampled and deemed as reliable in this kind of study. The reason for adopting both primary and secondary data was to increase reliability of the data collected. As stated by Paton (1987), the use of both primary and secondary materials in research is beneficial since it improves reliability through comparison of both theoretical information and real information collected from the ground. Other than adopting a simple questionnaire and distributing it to the respondents, the researcher felt that conducting verbal interview would yield more information since interviews are able to communicate intrinsic messages that may not be captured on paper. Such may include emotions and other vital messages conveyed through facial expressions, gestures and body signs. The information obtained from the interviews was then analyzed as will be shown in latter part of the study.

Secondary data was sourced primarily from existing documents and literature on the prevalence of female delinquency. Considering that the trend of female delinquency appears similar across many states, causal factors obtained from literature were generalized to represent the specific areas under study. The literature materials, theoretically, are very crucial since they correlate past studies and data and assist in making meaning of primary data.  In addition, information available from the existing literature was important in guiding the researcher in the kind of questions that would collect relevant information on the area under study.

Sample population
In this research, the number of respondents was adopted on a platform of availability and ease of access. The researcher targeted to use twelve respondents who could provide relevant information on female delinquency. As such, the respondents were sampled to include
Two young girls recently released from a correction facility
Two officers from the Justice Department handling gender and crimes analysis
Two parents whose girls have been arrested at least once in the last five years
 Two grade 9-12 teachers
Two religious leaders
Two officers working with non-governmental agencies advocating for solutions to juvenile female delinquency issues in the United States.

To ensure fair representation and with the comparative stance of this study, half of each category of respondents were drawn from one of the two broad areas under study, that is, the Washington Metropolitan Area and the two comparative areas, Florida and Baltimore. The respondents sampling, though not exhaustive, was deemed as knowledgeable and experienced in the area of female delinquency and as such, their responses would be rated as reliable for this study. The responses obtained were backed up by existing literature and analyzed as will be shown later in the study.

Findings and Discussion of Quantitative data
In this section, an analysis is done on the data collected guided by the aims and research questions identified earlier in the study.

Study Findings on the Primary data- Quantitative Data Analysis

Personal Details of Respondents
The personal details of the respondents chosen for the interview were collected including their gender, the duration they had been involved in female delinquency issues as well as their educational background. It was assumed in this study that appropriate education level would be crucial in helping the respondents to articulate the research questions appropriately.

Table 1 Respondents Personal Details
Personal Details of RespondentsFrequencyPercentage ()GenderMale650Female650Educational QualificationMasters Degree and above216.7Undergraduate433.3Diploma level and other qualifications650Number of years in Female delinquency Issues1-3 years541.74 years and above758.3The personal details of the respondents show that an equal gender representation was chosen for the study. In regard to their educational qualifications, 50 had at least an undergraduate qualification while the rest had diploma and other qualifications. As such, their explanations and understanding of the topic would not be biased by low literacy. Their experience in female delinquency issues was relatively reliable as a majority (over 58) had more than four years experience in the issue.

Data 2 Analysis
All the respondents were interviewed using similar questions based on the topic. All the responses were summarized and tabulated as shown in the tables below

Table 2 Prevalence of female delinquency
The first question required the respondents to evaluate the notion that female delinquency was increasing at a higher rate than that of their male counterparts. The expected response was either yes or no and the results were tabulated as follows

Table 2 prevalence of Female delinquency

ResponseFrequencyYes975No325As shown above, 75 of the respondents thought that delinquency among girls was increasing at a higher rate than that of boys. Among the 25 who thought that it was a statistical misrepresentation, one of their significant arguments was that the existing statistics are wrong since very little information was available in the past and as such, any comparison would not reflect factual information on the ground. For those who affirmed the percentages, one fundamental argument was that an increasingly large number of girls are faced with more psycho-social problems than in the past which makes them vulnerable to engage in delinquent activities. In addition, the culture of clubbing among many young people had encouraged girls to join peers who eventually lure them to crime activities, both in groups or as individuals. In addition, the affirmative argued that the percentages are on the rise due to an apparent neglect of religious affiliations among many youths. In one argument, one respondent claimed that more girls than boys were traditionally affiliated to religious organizations in the past. As such, a drop in religious affiliation had more impact on girls than on boys, and this could be the reason why statistics showed relative increase in girls in crime than boys.

Data 3 Analysis
The next question aimed to establish the causes of female delinquency from the respondents perspectives. To aid in a focused suggestion, the researcher had prepared the theoretically acknowledged causes. The respondents were hence required to affirm the theoretical claims by identifying the causes into two categories. Category (a) would identify the causes that were believed to be most influential while category (b) identified other periphery causes that could, in conjunction with others, increase the tendency to female delinquency. The results for the two categories are tabulated as shown below

Table 3 Category a Most influential causes of female delinquency
CauseYesNoPoverty102Sexual Maltreatment120Peers influence84Drugs and substance abuse120Unstable families93Over criminalization ( small crimes criminalized)66Looking for excitement66Poor Religious values84Low school Performance84The data above has been analyzed in an excel graph for ease of interpretation as shown below
Graph 1 main causes of female delinquency

As shown above, a majority of the factors identified theoretically were identified as being primary in leading girls to delinquency. The most outstanding factors that received an affirmative response were early sexual maltreatment and abuse of drugs and other substances. Other factors such as school performance, peer influence, over-criminalization and the adventure for youthful excitement were also identified as primary causes although at varying degrees. Some of the responses that opposed factors such as low school performance by some of the respondents were that a majority of other girls who are not delinquent performed poorly in schools yet did not engage in juvenile delinquency. An outstanding observation among these factors was that they reinforced each other. For instance, a girl who came from a poor family, performed poorly in school and had little religious affiliation was most likely to become delinquent. As such, a fundamental approach in looking for intervention measures would be by eliminating those factors that could be easily eliminated. For instance, guiding a girl from bad company and encouraging her to work hard in school could reverse the trend towards delinquency.

Data 4 Analysis Peripheral Causes of Female Delinquency
The next part of the interview aimed at establishing whether there existed factors that were weak to influence delinquency but could reinforce other factors which influence girls to become delinquent. The study had identified several of such and the respondents views were tabulated as follows

Table 4 Peripheral Causes
CauseYesNoNeighborhood84Ethnicity48Police Discrimination66Affluence210Early romance exposure84An analysis of the above data in an excel construct yields the graph shown below

The peripheral causes identified above are those that were identified as being secondary their influence depended on the existence of other strong primary factors. As shown in the graph, neighborhood and early exposure to sexual romance were identified as strong correlates of leading girls to delinquency. Other factors that had been identified in literature materials such as ethnicity, affluence and apparent police discrimination against some groups were rated as averagely influential in female delinquency.

Discussion of Qualitative data from the interviews
As mentioned above, the study utilized an interview method which was aimed at increasing the flexibility of the responses obtained from the respondents. As such, there were those responses that could not be quantified numerically though they were crucial in analyzing the issue of juvenile female delinquency. Some of the qualitative responses that were identified in both the primary and secondary research included

Most respondents identified the family as the major contributing factor to female delinquency. Girls from stable and caring families were less likely to get involved in crime although some respondents felt that some pampered youths from stable families contributed to formation of social groups (gangs) that later engaged in criminal activities.

Girls are less likely to organize intentional crimes. Their involvement is largely unplanned and occurs emotionally either through peer influence or abuse of substance and drugs.

Some respondents identified girls as being more of victims than perpetrators of delinquent acts. Their involvement in peer groups left them susceptible to great influence and as such, most of their involvement was unintentional.

The issue of girls transition in puberty was identified as a predisposing factor other than a primary factor. The biological change that occurs to girls during this period increases their susceptibility to emotional attachment to groups or individuals who may easily lure them to crime or to gangs.

The aim of this study was to analyze the issue of juvenile female delinquency in its broad aspects. Based on the literature search and primary data obtained in the study, it is the conclusions of this study that female delinquency is a rising problem, both in the areas considered in the study and in the wider global society. As such, it ought to be given more consideration than the one it has received in the past.  Secondly, there is universality in the primary causes of female juvenile delinquency. Core in the causes include dysfunctional families, early childhood abuse (physical, sexual and mental), poor religious affiliation, poor performance in schools and excessive affluence. In addition, peripheral causes such as neighborhood, ethnicity and youthful adventure have also been identified as contributing to female delinquency. In this study, it has been noted that the challenges that faces girls are more pronounced than those of their counterpart boys especially in their transition to adolescence. For this reason, intervention measures that can assist such girls from getting into crime ought to be structured in such a manner that they would address these concerns. Lastly, the training of fortitude, resilience and firmness is crucial and has been noted to keep girls off from engaging in delinquency despite the prevalence of causal factors.

Recommendations for intervention measures
The data obtained in this study, though collected from respondents in a specific area is a wide representation of the issues of juvenile female delinquency in the wide United States. Based on the analysis obtained above, it is the recommendations of this study that effective intervention measures can be obtained through

More efforts in studying female juvenile delinquency to alert the relevant authorities on the size of the issue.

The society to take pro-active roles in stepping in for destitute girls such as orphans, victimized children and those from dysfunctional families.

Inclusion of positive content in the early schools educational content aimed at encouraging young girls in distress.

Provision of safe recreation activities, both by families and schools to discourage young girls from seeking entertainment in hazardous zones.

Encourage strong moral and religious values- This study indicates that young girls with strong religious foundation and affiliation are less likely to engage in delinquent activities.


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