Subtypes of Girls Who Engage in Serious Delinquency and Their Young Adult Outcomes


Smith, Danielle M.; Blake, Jamilia J.; Luo, Wen; Keith, Verna M.; & Gilreath, Tameka (2020). Subtypes of Girls Who Engage in Serious Delinquency and Their Young Adult Outcomes. Psychology of Women Quarterly.


Girls are increasingly becoming involved with the juvenile justice system; however, what brings girls to engage in delinquency or what obstacles these girls face later in life resulting from adolescent criminal behavior is understudied. In the present study, we used latent class analysis to identify subtypes of risks among adolescent girls (N = 1,174) who have engaged in delinquent behaviors and mixture modeling to determine what distal psychological, social, educational, and economic outcomes in young adulthood are associated with each subtype. Four adolescent subtypes were identified, which were distinguished primarily based on the severity of their self-reported victimization experiences and mental health concerns. Classes with higher levels of victimization experiences tended to report more engagement with delinquent behavior in adolescence and had a larger proportion of Black and Hispanic girls than lower-victimization classes. Identified classes differed from each other on distal (i.e., young adulthood) measures of economic instability, educational attainment, drug use, depression, and adult arrests. Generally, latent classes which were characterized by higher rates of victimization and mental health concerns and lower educational performance in adolescence fared worse in young adulthood. Implications for those who care for girls who engage in delinquency, including suggestions for using trauma and culture informed screening, prevention, and intervention services, and directions for future research are discussed.



female juvenile delinquency

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Psychology of Women Quarterly


Smith, Danielle M.
Blake, Jamilia J.
Luo, Wen
Keith, Verna M.
Gilreath, Tameka

Year Published




Reference ID