The Delinquent Girl

Edited by Margaret A. Zahn
Book Cover

PB: $35.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-952-1
Publication: Mar 10

HC: $66.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-951-4
Publication: Jan 09

Ebook: $35.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-953-8
Publication: Jan 09

360 pages
6 x 9
17 tables, 29 halftones

A major study defining the delinquent girl, the crimes she commits and why she commits them

Read the Introduction (pdf).


Over the past decade and a half, girls’ involvement in the juvenile justice system has increased. Yet the topic remains under-studied among criminologists. The Delinquent Girl is a “state-of-the-field” evaluation that identifies and analyzes girls who become delinquent, the kinds of crimes they commit and the reasons they commit them. The distinguished academics and practitioners who contributed to this volume provide an overview of the research on girls’ delinquency, discuss policy implications and point to areas where further research is critically needed.

The book begins with an examination of the major theories and explanations of female delinquency and considers the “gender gap” between male and female offenders. Other issues, such as the role of the juvenile justice system and changes in justice policies, are also addressed. Throughout The Delinquent Girl, the contributors use criminological and feminist theories to consider causes and implications—e.g., family dysfunction, community factors—and provide insight into treating and preventing juvenile delinquency.

Contributors: Robert Agnew, Angela Browne, Meda Chesney-Lind, Gayle A. Dakof, Barry C. Feld, Diana H. Fishbein, Peggy C. Giordano, Denise C. Gottfredson, Candace Kruttschnitt, Jody Miller, Shari Miller, Merry Morash, Christopher W. Mullins, Allison Ann Payne, Jennifer Schwartz, Darrell Steffensmeier, Donna-Marie Winn and the editor.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
1. The Contribution of "Mainstream" Theories to the Explanation of Female Delinquency
2. Feminist Theories of Girls' Delinquency
3. Trends in Girls' Delinquency and the Gender Gap: Statistical Assessment of Diverse Sources
4. Biopsychological Factors, Gender, and Delinquency
5. Family Influences on Girls' Delinquency
6. Peer Influences on Girls' Delinquency
7. Girls, Schooling, and Delinquency
8. Gender Differences in Neighborhood Effects and Delinquency
9. The Context of Girls' Violence: Peer Groups, Families, Schools, and Communities
10. Young Women and Street Gangs
11. Girls in the Juvenile Justice System
Appendix: Girls Studt Group Members

About the Author(s)

Margaret A. Zahn is Professor of Sociology and Criminology at North Carolina State University, and Past President and Fellow of the American Society of Criminology. She is Principal Investigator of the Girls Study Group, a major project funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, coordinated by RTI International, where she was a Visiting Scientist. She is the co-editor of several books including Homicide: A Sourcebook of Social Research (with M. Dwayne Smith).