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Follow-up of Female Delinquents: Maternal Contributions to the Perpetuation of Deviance

NCJ Number
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Volume: 30 Issue: 2 Dated: (March 1991) Pages: 197-201
Date Published
5 pages
Twenty-one female delinquents who had been neuropsychiatrically evaluated while in a juvenile correctional facility were followed up 7 to 12 years later to gather information about the relationship of early biopsychosocial variables to outcome.
The sample, whose average age at the time that the arrest data were gathered was 22.5 years, had committed fewer and less violent offenses than a matched sample of male delinquents. In contrast to the males, early biopsychosocial variables were not predictive of adult criminality, but most females were seriously impaired neuropsychiatrically. The average intelligence quotient of the sample was 95, yet almost all were impaired. Fifteen (71 percent) had a history of episodic psychotic symptoms, nine (43 percent) had neurological/limbic impairment, and four (17 percent) had cognitive impairment. Almost half the sample had two or more intrinsic vulnerabilities, and 19 (90 percent) of the 21 came from violent households. Ten (48 percent) of the 21 young women had been sexually abused by family members as children. Nineteen of the 21 young women had made suicide attempts at some point in their lives and 10 on more than one occasion. Two subjects died by the time the study was completed. The majority tended to become enmeshed in violent relationships and thus perpetuated their family traditions of violence. 1 table and 15 references

Date Published: January 1, 1991