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OJJDP GIRLS STUDY GROUP Stephanie R. Hawkins, Ph.D. Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Quarterly Meeting June 6, 2008 Washington, DC. R E S E A R C H T R I A N G L E P A R K , N O R T H C A R O L I N A. Crime, Violence, and Justice Center.

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r e s e a r c h t r i a n g l e p a r k n o r t h c a r o l i n a

OJJDP GIRLS STUDY GROUPStephanie R. Hawkins, Ph.D.Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Quarterly MeetingJune 6, 2008 Washington, DC

R E S E A R C H T R I A N G L E P A R K , N O R T H C A R O L I N A

Crime, Violence, and Justice Center

girls study group activities
GIRLS STUDY GROUP ACTIVITIES
  • Literature Review
  • Secondary Data Analysis
  • Screening and Assessment Instrument Review
  • Program Review
gender similarities in risk and protective factors
GENDER SIMILARITIES IN RISK AND PROTECTIVE FACTORS
  • Family dynamics
    • Structure and stability
    • Supervision and control
    • Family criminality
    • Maltreatment
  • School involvement
  • Neighborhood disadvantage
  • Availability of community-based programs
gender sensitivity to risk and protective factors
GENDER SENSITIVITY TO RISK AND PROTECTIVE FACTORS
  • Early puberty or developmental factors
  • Sexual assault
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Romantic partners
  • Attachment and bonding to school and pro-social institutions
take home point from literature
TAKE HOME POINT FROM LITERATURE
  • Girls and boys experience many of the same risks, but they differ in sensitivity to and rate of exposure to these risks and, as a result, they may have different programming needs.
trends in girls violence reports of arrests
TRENDS IN GIRLS’ VIOLENCE: REPORTS OF ARRESTS
  • Gap between juvenile female and juvenile male arrests for aggravated assault has declined
  • Female arrests for simple assault have increased while male arrests for simple assault have declined

(National Center for Juvenile Justice 2007)

trends in girls violence self report
TRENDS IN GIRLS’ VIOLENCE: SELF-REPORT
  • Levels of assault for juvenile females and males have been fairly constant over the past two decades
  • Female involvement in violence has not increased relative to male violence
  • There has been more change in girls’ arrests than in underlying violent behavior of girls
possible explanations
POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS
  • Increases in girls’ arrests may be an artifact of changing policies and attitudes
    • Mandatory arrest policies and domestic violence laws
    • School’s zero-tolerance policies
    • Widening definitions of violence
    • Shift in societal attitude
national incident based reporting system nibrs
NATIONAL INCIDENT BASED REPORTING SYSTEM (NIBRS)
  • Mandatory and pro-arrest policies increased the likelihood of arrest for girls and boys.
  • Effects are stronger for girls.
  • Youth more likely to be arrested when mother is assaulted
resilience
RESILIENCE
  • Some protective factors not strong enough to mitigate the influence of childhood risks.
  • Must know how protective factors operate in the lives of girls and when these protective factors are most relevant to girls’ development
    • Caring adult was protective during adolescence and not protective during young adulthood when girls have been physically abused
  • Must know the risk confronting adolescent girls and consider which protective factors are strong enough to buffer against particular risks
    • For sexually assaulted girls, doing well in school was protective during adolescence and religiosity was protective during young adulthood
sexual abuse and delinquency
SEXUAL ABUSE AND DELINQUENCY
  • Meta-analysis of 13 studies found solid relationship between sexual abuse and female delinquency
  • This relationship is comparable to many other risk factors for female delinquency
  • No gender difference in delinquency outcomes for sexually abused youth
pathways to delinquency
PATHWAYS TO DELINQUENCY
  • Girls are involved in a range of delinquent behaviors
    • Runaway – neither most common or 1st offense
  • Sizeable number of girls are involved in serious delinquency but this is short-lived and they revert back to lower levels of delinquency
  • Delinquent behaviors begin before middle school
screening and assessment instruments
SCREENING AND ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS
  • Some of the challenges with screening and assessment instruments for girls include
    • Inability to accurately identify behaviors
    • Inappropriate or misclassification
  • 143 instruments reviewed
  • 51% provided separate norms or scoring systems for girls or showed favorable gender analysis
  • Mental health instruments are most likely to address gender performance
  • Only 3 gender-appropriate risk assessment instruments were developed and tested across multiple jurisdictions (out of 35)
program review
PROGRAM REVIEW
  • Reviewed programs designed to prevent and reduce female delinquency
  • Out of 62 programs cataloged, 18 had been evaluated.
    • None of the 18 programs met the criteria to be rated as “Effective,” “Effective with Reservation,” or “Ineffective.”
    • 4 programs met the criteria to be rated as “Promising.”
    • 4 programs met the criteria to be rated as “Inconclusive Evidence.”
    • 10 programs met the criteria to be rated as “Insufficient Evidence.”
sustainability issues
SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES

11 of the 18 evaluated programs are still operating:

None of the 4 programs rated “Promising” are still operating

2 of the 4 programs rated “Inconclusive Evidence” are still operating

9 of the 10 programs rated “Insufficient Evidence are still operating

blueprints for violence prevention programs
BLUEPRINTS FOR VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS
  • Model programs in Blueprints work well for girls as well as boys.
  • Why?
    • They are multi-dimensional
    • Have individualized treatment plans to meet individual needs
    • Connection to pro-social institutions
what is needed
WHAT IS NEEDED?
  • Gender responsive programs need more focus on evaluation to determine effectiveness
  • Promising gender responsive programs need more focus on sustainability
products
PRODUCTS
  • Book
    • Delinquent Girls: Findings From the Girls Study Group. Temple University Press.
  • Articles
    • Zahn, M. A. (2006) The Girls’ Study Group: Its Creation and Achievements, The Criminologist, 31(5): September/October, 1-4.
    • Zahn, M. A. (2006) The Causes of Girls’ Delinquency and the Challenges of the Rise in Female Delinquency, Family Court Review, 12.
bulletins
BULLETINS
  • Violence by Teenage Girls: Trends and Context (released)
  • The Girls Study Group – Charting the way to Gender-responsive delinquency prevention
  • Resilient Girls – Factors that Protect Against Delinquency
  • Causes and Correlates of Girls’ Delinquency
  • Examining the Gender-based performance of risk-assessment and treatment-focused instruments for delinquents
  • Gender-Responsive Delinquency programs: An evidence-based review
  • Developmental Sequences of Girls’ Delinquent Behavior
tools for the field
TOOLS FOR THE FIELD
  • Bibliographic search page includes all the citations used in the development of the literature review from the Girls Study Group members.
    • Contains 2,388 citations
  • Online searchable database of the screening and assessment instruments examined and information collected about each instrument (in process)
girls study group web site statistics january 1 2008 through may 31 2008
GIRLS STUDY GROUP WEB SITE STATISTICS (January 1, 2008 through May 31, 2008)
  • The website received 17,299 hits
  • The bibliographic search page received 834 hits
  • Documents were downloaded 4,784 times
  • The average number of people who visit the website each day has steadily increased over the years
    • 51 (2005)
    • 58 (2006)
    • 101 (2007)
    • 113 from Jan- May 2008