U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Girls & Violence: Tracing the Roots of Criminal Behavior

NCJ Number
Judith A. Ryder
Date Published
221 pages
This book, Girls & Violence: Tracing the Roots of Criminal Behavior, explores the factors that push adolescent girls to acts of criminal violence.
This book explores the relationship between disrupted emotional bonds and exposure to violence that can push adolescent girls towards acts of criminal violence. The author uses the results of interviews with 24 girls to identify categories of loss and violence with which to explore how young girls can be pushed towards criminal violence. The introductory chapter of the book discusses the problem of adolescent girls and violence, while the second chapter contains a model for exploring the "black box" between experiences of loss, victimization, and other traumatic experiences in childhood, and violent behaviors in adolescence. The third chapter contains the personal stories for the 24 girls interviewed for the study, while chapters 4 and 5 present the numerous and varied traumatic events that the girls experienced before the age of 11. The sixth chapter discusses the various means that the girls employed in their attempts to cope with the effects of loss, victimization, and violence, while chapter 7 examines the different offenses for which the girls were most recently adjudicated and remanded to custody. Throughout the book, the author focuses on the concept that lack of and/or disruption of attachments has led these girls into a cycle of criminal violence. In the final chapter of the book, the author argues that policymakers, practitioners, community leaders, and researchers should consider an attachment-based framework for understanding youth violence. Bibliography and index