Understanding the Link Between Girls' Victimization, Re-victimization, and Delinquency: Results From the Navy Family Study

Veronica M. Herrera, Wellesley College
Linda M. Williams, Wellesley College
Benjamin Saunders, Natl Crime Victims Research/Treatment Ctr

Factors that have been identified as chief causes of female delinquency have been typically traced back to severe problems in intimate/family relationships, including witnessing marital violence, physical abuse and sexual victimization. Re-victimization has also been examined as both an outcome of child maltreatment and more recently as correlate of female offending. However, the mechanisms through which all three factors interact and influence each other remains generally unexplored. Taking an integrated approach we begin to untangle the complex relationships stemming from girls' victimization to later delinquency. Data for this presentation come from the Navy Family Study, a project being conducted by Wellesley College, the Medical University of South Carolina, and University of New Hampshire in collaboration with the Navy Family Advocacy Program (FAP). This is a prospective study that involves recruitment of Navy families who have been referred to FAP for intrafamilial physical and/or sexual abuse or partner violence. For this presentation, we will examine data from the initial assessment 2-6 weeks following the report to FAP and the 9-month follow-up interview with 84 girls, ages 7-17. Child abuse history is measured through official report, parent report, and child report. Re-victimization history and delinquency were measured by in-person interviews with the children.

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Updated 05/20/2006