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A latent variable modeling approach to identifying subtypes of serious and violent female juvenile offenders


A latent variable modeling approach to identifying subtypes of serious and violent female juvenile offenders



Aggressive Behavior 33(4): 339-352



ISSN/ISBN: 0096-140X

PMID: 17593559

DOI: 10.1002/ab.20190

Females have recently become an important population in research related to serious and violent juvenile offending. Although a small body of research exists on girls in the deep end of the system, very few studies have examined the degree of heterogeneity within high-risk female samples. This study applied latent class analysis (LCA) to identify subgroups of female juvenile offenders based on their self-report of offending profiles (N=133). Results supported a three-class solution with subgroups characterized by patterns of 'violent and delinquent', 'delinquency only', and 'low' offending patterns. The LCA solution was replicated in an independent sample of high-risk females. The 'violent and delinquent' class was characterized by significantly higher rates of DSM-IV diagnoses for internalizing disorders, affect dysregulation, exposure to violence (within the home, school and neighborhood), and familial histories of criminality. Implications for future research, policy and clinical practice are discussed.

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Accession: 014864636

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