Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Identifying gendered trajectories of offending for a panel of first time youth offenders: Exploring the influence of time-stable covariates
by Weaver, Cynthia, Ph.D., The University of Alabama, 2010, 105; 3423028
Abstract (Summary)

Gendered trajectories of juvenile offending over an eight year observation period are specified for a retrospective longitudinal sample of 15,959 female and male first time offenders up to age 18 in a southeastern state. Semiparametric group modeling is used to specify offending trajectories for a response variable operationalized as a frequency count of unique complaints by age. Time-stable psychosocial and systems-level covariates are also investigated as predictors of likely trajectory group membership. The probability of trajectory group membership is investigated as a predictor for secure incarceration.

Results specify a three-solution model for juvenile females and a six-solution model for juvenile males. Prior child maltreatment—substantiated as well as alleged but dismissed—is a predictor of moderate- to higher-level offending across all gendered trajectories (with the exception of one higher-level but decreasing male trajectory). Living in a blended family (mother plus stepfather or father plus stepmother), living with grandparents, and living with relatives at first offense are all correlated with moderate-level offending for male juveniles. Living in foster care at first offense is a predictor for both lower-level and higher-level female offending. Both the three-solution female model and the six-solution male model predict incarceration.

Further research is warranted to investigate severity of offending as a response variable for the juvenile offending trajectories identified in the dissertation study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nelson-Gardell, Debra
Commitee: Bolland, Kathleen, Church, Wesley, Clements, Carl, Leeper, James
School: The University of Alabama
Department: Social Work
School Location: United States -- Alabama
Source: DAI-A 71/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Criminology
Keywords: Child maltreatment, Juvenile delinquents, Juvenile offendiing, Longitudinal, Semiparametric group modeling, Trajectories
Publication Number: 3423028
ISBN: 978-1-124-23358-1
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