Weapon Carrying, Use and Delinquency Among Young Urban Females: Impact and Consequences

Trudy L. Bonsell, University at Albany

Using data from an ongoing panel study of urban youth, this paper provides an examination of female weapon carrying, use and delinquency. Although females are considerably less delinquent than males, we still seek to gain a comprehensible and accurate representation of this phenomenon, including the scenarios in which weapons play a role. The analysis is based on the sample of adolescent females in the Rochester Youth Development Study and explores the types of weapons carried and used in relation to delinquency and associated behaviors. In particular, the girls are used as their own controls to address questions regarding their delinquent behavior when a weapon is carried and/or used versus when it is not. This is assessed by evaluating the impact and consequences of weapon carrying and use on various forms of delinquency over multiple waves of data covering early adolescence to young adulthood. Future research and policy implications will also be discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006