Differential Pathways to Violence: Comparing Boys and Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

Kristi Holsinger, University of Missouri - Kansas City
Alexander M. Holsinger, University of Missouri - Kansas City

Despite official statistics regarding the aggregate decreases in violent crime throughout the 1990s, concern over juvenile violence has continued. Violence committed by youth has also remained an important interest of the criminological research community (see for example the literature review by Jenson and Howard, 1999). The current paper investigates the individual pathways to violent behavior for both girls and boys who are system-involved. Using a sample of incarcerated boys and girls, comparisons are made between these two sub-populations as to the major correlates of violent behavior. All 444 subjects in the current study were interviewed using an in-depth survey instrument designed to measure many aspects of the youths' lives. Bivariate and multivariate analyses are used to determine the significant correlates of violent behavior, while at the same time making comparisons between boys and girls regarding their individual pathways to violent behavior.

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Updated 05/20/2006