New Book Addresses Rise in Girls' Delinquency

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A new book, Delinquent Girls: Contexts, Relationships, and Adaptation, synthesizes what is known about girls involved in delinquent behavior and their experiences at different points in the juvenile justice system.

The book was written by Shari Miller, Ph.D., a child clinical and research psychologist at RTI International; Leslie Leve, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center and at the Center for Research to Practice in Eugene, Ore.; and Patricia Kerig, Ph.D., professor and the director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah.

According to the book, traditionally, delinquent girls were considered an anomaly, a rare phenomenon attracting little scholarly notice. Today, more than one in four youth offenders is female, and researchers and practitioners alike are quickly turning their attention and resources to address this challenging situation.

The book offers empirical analysis not only of how these behaviors develop but also about what is being done to intervene. It employs multiple theoretical models, qualitative and quantitative data sources, law enforcement records, and insights across disciplines, as well as leading scholars' reviews, the roles of family and peers, psychological and legal issues, and policy changes resulting in more arrests of young women.

Each chapter covers its subject in depth, providing theory, findings, and future directions. Important topics addressed include: narrowing the gender gap—trends in girls' delinquency; girls at the intersection of juvenile justice, criminal justice and child welfare; trauma exposure, mental health issues and girls' delinquency; beyond the stereotypes—girls in gangs; intervention programs for at-risk and court-involved girls; and implications for practice and policy.

With its broad scope and solution-oriented focus, Delinquent Girls: Contexts, Relationships, and Adaptation is valuable for researchers, professionals, graduate students and social policy experts in clinical child and school psychology, social work, juvenile justice, criminology, developmental psychology and sociology.

Miller has nearly two decades of experience in research on high-risk children, adolescents and families. Her substantive interests include development, implementation and evaluation of community-based prevention programs, with a focus on youth violence and teen dating violence. She was the recipient of a Career Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health that focused on aggression and related problem behaviors by girls.

Delinquent Girls: Contexts, Relationships, and Adaptation was published by Springer and can be purchased on leading bookseller websites.

Cover of Delinquent Girls: Contexts, Relationships, and Adaptation

Highlights

  • A new book focuses on girls who are involved in delinquent behavior and their experiences in the juvenile justice system
  • Delinquent Girls: Contexts, Relationships, and Adaptation is co-authored by Shari Miller, Ph.D., a child clinical and research psychologist at RTI International
  • The book offers an empirical analysis of the rise in delinquent behavior among girls and what is being done to intervene