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AN EVALUATION OF THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER AND MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS ON JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM PROCESSING

A Prospectus By ERIN M. ESPINOSA

Submitted to the Graduate School of Prairie View A&M University In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

MAY 2011

Major Subject: Juvenile Justice

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ABSTRACT An Evaluation of the Influence of Gender and Mental Health Needs in Juvenile Justice System Processing By Erin M. Espinosa Doctor of Philosophy in Juvenile Justice Prairie View A&M University Professor Dr. Jon Sorensen, Chair

In response to the growing rate of female offending, studies have attempted to examine the different pathways to and through the justice system for male and female offenders. There is a general consensus that female juvenile offenders are often incarcerated for less serious offenses than their male counterparts. Existing literature also suggests that there is a correlation between female juvenile offending and mental health diagnosis, and that offenders with mental health needs are disproportionally represented in juvenile justice institutions. However, other than descriptive evaluations, there is a very limited amount of research on the influence of gender and mental health need in the disposition decisions resulting in out-of-home placement for juvenile offenders. By utilizing a structured methodology to include measures of control for cross-county effects, this study will evaluate the pathway differences for female juvenile offenders with identified mental health needs in comparison to their male counterparts.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT................................................................................................................... iii TABLE OF CONTENTS ............................................................................................... iv LIST OF TABLES ......................................................................................................... vi CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION .................................................................................... 1 Background .......................................................................................................... 1 Purpose of Study................................................................................................... 5 Current Study ....................................................................................................... 9 Objectives ................................................................................................ 9 Limitations ............................................................................................... 9 Organization........................................................................................... 10 CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVEW ....................................................................... 11 Theoretical Background ...................................................................................... 12 Early Theories ........................................................................................ 13 Life Course Theory ................................................................................ 16 Masculinization and Emancipation ......................................................... 17 Power-control Theory............................................................................. 18 General Strain Theory ............................................................................ 19 The Feminist Approach ......................................................................... 21 Gendered Pathways............................................................................................ 23 Gender Disparity in System Processing .............................................................. 26 Mental Health Disorders and Delinquency ......................................................... 30 Gender Disparity in Mental Health Disorders .................................................... 34

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TABLE OF CONTENTS (CONTINUED) Mental Health Disorders and Disparate System Response .................................. 36 Disparate Treatment for Female Offenders with Mental Health Disorders ........... 42 Summary and Conclusion .............................................................................................. 44 CHAPTER III: METHODS .......................................................................................... 45 Research Design ................................................................................................. 45 Measures ............................................................................................................ 48 Predictor Variables ................................................................................. 48 Outcome Measures ................................................................................. 49 Control Measures ................................................................................... 49 Data Sources .......................................................................................... 50 Hypotheses ......................................................................................................... 51 Analyses ............................................................................................................ 51 REFERENCES.............................................................................................................. 53

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Background The belief that girls' involvement with the juvenile justice system is increasing has recently garnered increased attention in both academia and popular culture (Acoca, 1998; Fox & Levin, 2000; Morse, 2002; Ness, 2004; Poe-Yamagoata & Butts, 1996). At the turn of the century there was a two-decade low rate in overall juvenile violent crime, however official statistics indicated a trend toward increased activity in female juvenile delinquency, especially for offenses involving assaultive behavior. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) conducted a study during the period of 1989 to 1993 that reported the number of arrests involving female juveniles increased by 23%, while the rate for juvenile males increased by only 11% (Poe-Yamagoata & Butts, 1996). In 1998, the OJJDP reported property arrests for female juveniles increased by 21%, while those arrests for male juveniles had actually declined by 4% (Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention, 1998). Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that although the overall rate of juvenile arrests decreased from 1994 to 2006, especially for violent crime, arrests for aggravated assaults decreased more for boys (24 %) than for girls (10%). In addition, arrests for simple assault declined by 4% for boys, whereas the rate for girls increased by 19% (Snyder, 2008). Recently, studies of female juvenile delinquency have begun to show that simultaneous with the increase in arrests in official statistics, changes in statute and law enforcement policies have resulted in a potential net-widening of female arrests (Bishop & Frazier, 1992; Chesney-Lind, 2002; Steffensmeier, Schwartz, Zhong & Ackerman,

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2 2005). Evaluating violent offending data gathered from victimization and self-report surveys, Steffensmeier (2005) found that contrary to official arrest records, self report data indicate that there has been "little overall change in girls¶ levels of violence over the past one to two decades´ (Steffensmeier et al., 2005, p. 395). These findings have caused some to expand the dialogue related to female juvenile delinquency to include the argument that the use of violations of court orders and changes to the definition of domestic violence has resulted in the relabeling of girls¶ arguments or fights in their homes from status offenses to the delinquent act of assault, and thereby ³bootstrapping´ girls formally into the juvenile justice system (Bartollas, 1993; Bishop & Frazier, 1992; Chesney-Lind, 2005; Steffensmeier, 2005). Although female offending has garnered increased attention in the literature, a limited amount of research exists on the role of gender in post-adjudication disposition decisions. The prevailing belief among juvenile justice practitioners has been that girls are "harder to work with" because they enter the juvenile justice system with more serious and multifaceted problems than their male counterparts (Bains & Alder, 1996). This notion has led researchers such as Chesney-Lind and MacDonald (2001) to examine potential gender bias in the handling of juvenile court cases. Their research indicated that for youth entering the disposition stage of the juvenile justice process, the impact of charge seriousness was not equal across gender (Chesney-Lind & MacDonald, 2001). Studies conducted on pre-adjudication detention decisions indicated that the juvenile justice system process also differed significantly by gender. From 1990 to 1999 there was a 50% increase in the number of female delinquency cases entering detention centers in the United States compared with only a 4% increase for male juvenile delinquency cases

3 (Sherman, 2005). In 2001, although girls comprised only 19% of detained youth, they were almost twice as likely as boys to be detained for technical violations and status offenses (Sickmund, Sladly, & Kang, 2004). In 2004, national statistics indicated technical violations and status offenses accounted for 41% of detentions for female juvenile offenders and 25% for their male peers (Sickmund et al., 2004). Therefore, female juvenile offenders are more likely to be detained for status offenses, technical violations (such as violations of probation or court orders), and orders to apprehend. This indicates that not only is the rate of female juvenile offending increasing, but also that the systemic response to female delinquency has escalated to incarcerating girls for lesser offenses than their male counterparts. Youth with mental health needs in the juvenile justice system have also experienced increased attention. In 2000, the Coalition for Juvenile Justice published a report indicating 20% of all youth in the general population youth have a mental health need, with up to 13% of those youth having a serious disorder (Hubner & Wofson, 2000). However, a much higher prevalence for youth involved with the juvenile justice system has been established, ranging from 50% to 75% with approximately 20% having a serious disorder (Cocozza & Skowyra, 2000; Teplin, Abram, McClelland, Dulcan, & Mericle, 2002 & Wasserman, McReynolds, Lucas, Fisher, & Santos 2002). Studies have indicated a correlation between female juvenile offending and mental health diagnosis. Copeland and colleagues (2007) found that almost 21% of female crime could be attributed to the symptomology of a mental health disorder or multiple disorders, compared to only 11% for males (Copeland, Miller-Johnson, Keeler, Angold, & Costello, 2007). Others have indicated that the existence of anxiety and

4 depressive disorders are strong indicators of violent offending among female offenders, and that females have higher rates of anxiety disorders than their male counterparts (Atkins et al., 1999; Copeland et al., 2007; Wasserman et al., 2007). Subsequently, researchers have begun to hypothesize that internalizing psychiatric disorders such as depression influence girl's propensity toward antisocial behavior (Kovacs, 1996; Renouf & Harter, 1990), and influence the subsequent response from the system. The effect of psychiatric disorder is further complicated with a higher rate of co-occurring or comorbid disorders among female juvenile offenders (Dembo, Williams, & Schmeidler, 1993; Kataoka, 2001; Randall, Henggeler, Pickrel, & Brondino, 1999; Ulzen, Psych, & Hamilton, 1998). Juvenile offenders with mental health needs enter a justice system that is often ill equipped to appropriately handle the multiple diagnoses and multi-systemic issues facing this population. For instance, literature indicates that antisocial behaviors include everything from serious acts of delinquency such as drug abuse, burglary, vandalism, and assault to minor status offenses such as truancy and runaway (Henggler, Schoenwald, Rowland, & Cunningham, 1998). Consequently, there is an overlap in the anti-social behaviors of delinquent youth engaged with mental health treatment systems and conduct-disordered youth involved in the juvenile justice system. This has caused some authors to conclude that the same type of youth appear in both mental health and juvenile justice systems (Atkins, Jeffers, Montgomery, Nybro, Pumariega, Sease, & Rogers, 1999; Cocozza & Skowyra, 2000; Teplin et al., 2002 & Wasserman et al., 2002). Offenders with diagnosed mental health disorders often have a difficult time navigating the justice system. Specifically, they are at an increased risk of having formal

5 treatment conditions imposed on them as a condition of their involvement in the system (Monahan et al., 2005). It is not uncommon for judges to add conditions to probation that require compliance with medication, therapy, or other behavioral programs (Draine & Solomon, 2001). Enforcing and monitoring compliance with treatment is viewed as a probation officer¶s primary assignment in supervising offenders with mental illness. Draine and Solomon (2001) discovered that probation officers supervising mentally ill offenders in the community threatened two-thirds of those offenders with incarceration for noncompliance with mandated treatment. This allows officers to use technical violations to incarcerate juvenile offenders with mental health needs for behaviors that, by themselves, would not be illegal for the general population. The result is that juvenile offenders with mental health disorders are more likely to be placed in a residential setting than those without a mental health disorder, indicating that the systemic response to the unique needs of the offender with mental health needs is often incarceration (Dauphinot, 1996; Pourpino, & Motiuk, 1995).
Purpose of the Study

Findings vary regarding the effects of gender and juvenile justice system involvement and processing (Belknap 2001; Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 1998) with some studies indicating females receive more severe sanctions than their male counterparts specifically for status offenses (Bishop & Frazier, 1992; Chesney-Lind, 1977, 1988; Odem, 1995; Shelden and Horvath, 1986), and others indicating that male juvenile offenders receive more severe outcomes, particularly for delinquent behavior (Bishop & Frazier, 1996; Farrington & Morris, 1983; Johnson & Scheuble, 1991). This study will examine the role of gender and psychiatric disorder play in juvenile justice system

6 processing. Five hypotheses will be tested in this study; each is based on the academic literature concerning the topic. First, this study will extend the findings in Espinosa, Belshaw, and Osho (2001) by addressing some of the limitations in that study. Evaluating the role of gender in juvenile justice system processing, the authors found that gender had no role in post adjudication disposition decisions resulting in out-of-home placement. Rather, the authors reported that level of offense provided the strongest predictor for disposition decisions resulting in out-of-home placement. One of the limitations in that study is the offense category the authors coded as Violation of Probation (VOP). The previous study did not account for the fact that some VOPs may have originated as a Status, Class C or Contempt of Court Offense. The juvenile may have received a VOP as a result of a status offense rather than as a result of a delinquent act. Therefore, gender may indeed influence juvenile justice system processing. By evaluating the extent that a violation of a court order or probation results in a disposition decision of out-of-home placement, this study will provide a clearer framework for the analysis of the unique characteristics of gender differences in behavior and juvenile justice system involvement. The second limitation of the previous study is that it did not include an analysis of the extralegal variables that influence disposition decision making such as mental health disorders. Female juvenile offenders tend to have a lower prevalence of conduct and oppositional defiant disorders than male juvenile offenders (Loeber et al. 2000). However, in the form of behavior, adolescent girls with conduct disorders are more at risk than adolescent males for depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior (Loeber et al. 2000). More specifically, studies have indicated that offenders with mental health

7 disorders are more likely to be removed from the home due to violations than offenders without a mental health disorder (Monahan et al., 2005; & Solomon, 2001). Evaluating the extent that psychiatric disorder influences disposition decisions will provide a more comprehensive analysis of the unique characteristics of gender differences in behavior and juvenile justice system involvement. H1: Female juvenile offenders are disposed to residential care more often than males for lower level offenses when controlling for mental health need. Second, this study will evaluate the rate of co-occurring disorders among female juvenile offenders in comparison to their male counterparts. Female juvenile offenders typically struggle with internalizing diagnoses such as anxiety disorder, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, somatization disorders, and borderline personality disorders. (Dembo et al., 1993; Offord, 1987; Richards, 1996; Rhode, Mace, & Steeley, 1997; Timmons-Mitchell et al., 1997), and have higher rates of co-occurring or comorbid disorders than male offenders (Dembo et al., 1993; Kataoka, 2001; Randall et al., 1999; Ulzen et al., 1998) which further compounds the issues related to the disposition and supervision. Testing this hypothesis will allow for the evaluation of the potential impact of multiple psychiatric disorders and gender in justice system processing. H2: Female juvenile offenders entering the system are more likely than their male counterparts to have co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Approximately 20% of youth in the general population are estimated to have a psychiatric diagnosis or documented mental health need (Hubner & Wofson, 2000). However, a much higher rate ranging from 50% to 80% of youth within the juvenile justice system is estimated to have a psychiatric diagnosis or mental health need

8 (Cocozza & Skowyra, 2000; Teplin, Abram, & McClelland, 1998). Studies indicate a disproportionate number of youth with mental health needs in detention and residential settings (Atkins et al., 1999), and they are typically detained or incarcerated pending treatment (United States House of Representatives [USHR], 2004). This test will focus on the role of mental health need on disposition decisions resulting in removal from the home while controlling for the effect of gender. H3: Juvenile offenders with mental health needs are disposed to residential care more often than offenders without psychiatric disorders who are disposed for similar offenses. Throughout the literature, gender is one of the most consistent correlates of delinquent behavior (Belknap & Holsinger, 2006; Naffine, 1987; Smart, 1976; Steffensmeier & Allan, 1996). However, mirroring the results of studies on race and juvenile justice decision making, findings have been inconsistent regarding the effects of gender on case processing (Chesney-Lind & Sheldon, 1998; Belknap 2001), with some indicating that it is more harsh on girls than boys (Bishop & Frazier, 1992; ChesneyLind, 1977, 1988; Odem, 1995; Shelden and Horvath, 1986) while others indicate no difference based on gender (Dannefer & Schutt, 1982; Kempf-Leonard & Sontheimer, 1995). However, the literature has shown that offenders with mental health needs are disproportionately represented in the justice system and that they tend to be incarcerated as a result of failed treatment. In addition, girls have been found to have higher rates of mental health needs. This evaluation will provide a targeted analysis of the impact of mental health disorders on the pathway to incarceration for female juvenile offenders.

9 H4: Female juvenile offenders with a diagnosed psychiatric disorder are disposed to a residential setting at a higher rate for lesser offenses than their male counterparts. The final test in this study will examine the difference in disposition decisions resulting in residential placement between males and females with similar levels of mental health needs. This analysis will determine if gender had an independent influence when controlling for other factors typically attributed to the pathway for female delinquency with specific emphasis on mental health need. H5: Factors resulting in residential placement differ for females and males. Current Study Objectives There are three objectives for this study. First, it will determine the extent to which juvenile justice system processing is influenced by gender, specifically related to disposition decisions resulting in out-of-home placement. Second, it will evaluate the influence of psychiatric disorders in juvenile justice system processing in a two-pronged approach. The first prong includes an analysis of the influence of gender on access to mental health assessment based upon the result of mental health screening. The second prong will evaluate the influence of mental health need or psychiatric disorder in disposition decisions resulting in residential placement or incarceration. The final objective is to evaluate the influence of gender controlling for psychiatric disorder. Limitations While this study uses secondary data, steps will be taken to ensure that the effects of any data limitations such as missing data on the results are minimized. Specifically,

10 listwise deletion will be utilized to eliminate cases with any missing values from analysis. The potential impact of missing data on the analysis will be fully discussed. A second potential limitation of this study may be found within the context of the offense category Violation of Probation (VOP). Some VOPs may originate as a Status, Class C or Contempt of Court offenses. Therefore, the juvenile may have been referred to the juvenile court for VOP as a result of committing the status offense. Specific analyses will be conducted on the origin of VOP offenses. Organization
This study will be divided into five distinct chapters. This chapter provided a basic introduction to the differential impact of gender and mental health need on disposition decisions. The problem identified for evaluation suggests that female offenders, especially those with diagnosed mental health disorders, are disposed to residential placement or incarcerated for lesser offenses than male juvenile offenders. Chapter two provides a review of the relevant literature and systematic outline of the problem being examined. Chapter three offers the methodology for the study including the data to be examined, sampling procedures, measures, and statistical analyses to be performed.

11 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Adolescence is traditionally understood to consist of a period of developmental transition between childhood and adulthood. It is characterized by changes in family, school, peers, self concept, and general physical development (Bergman & Scott, 2001; Steinberg & Morris, 2001). Although most youth successfully navigate this developmental period with no serious difficulty, incidents of behavioral and mental health problems typically increase during this period of development; each along gender differentiated lines (Compas, Hinden & Gerhardt, 1995; Steinberg & Morris, 2001). While both boys and girls engage in law-violating and delinquent activities that tend to peak during early adolescence, girls engage in fewer of these behaviors than their male counterparts (Canter, 1982; Steffensmeier & Allan, 1996; Steffensmeier, Zhong, Ackerman, Schwartz & Agha, 2006). On the other hand, female juvenile offenders exhibit significantly more episodes of depression, suicide attempts, and more complex mental health needs than their male counterparts (Teplin et. al, 2002; Culbertson, 1997; Grunbaum, Kann, Kinchen, Ross, Hawkins, Lowry et al, 2003; Rosenfield, Lennon & White, 2005; Teplin, Wasserman & McReynolds, 2006). Existing studies agree that gender-related differences tend to be among the most consistent patterns in both delinquent behavior and psychiatric disorders. The literature suggests that these gender differences first emerge early in child development and become more pervasive in adolescence (Avison & McAlpine 1992; Gore, Aseltine, & Colten 1992; Kessler & Zhao, 1999; Turner & Lloyd 1995). Some studies indicate that the gender gap in delinquent behavior is due to gender differences in socialization

12 (Bottcher, 2001; Heimer & De Coster, 1999; Messerschmidt, 1986; Simpson & Elis, 1995) or tied to the offender's status in a gender stratified society (Chesney-Lind, 1989; Daly & Chesney-Lind, 1988; Messerschmidt, 1986). However, similarities among criminological mental health literature emerge when evaluating the gender differences between mental health needs and delinquency. The consensus among studies indicate that females experience primarily internalizing symptoms that turn problematic feelings inward while males predominately experience externalizing behaviors, such as substance abuse and aggression which are more problematic for other people (Avison & McAlpine, 1992; Rosenfield, Lennon, & White 2005). This chapter provides an overview of the existing theories that attempt to provide an explanation of female juvenile delinquency. It describes findings from studies that evaluate trends in both juvenile female offending and the prevalence of offenders with mental health needs. Finally, it ties the existing literature into the pathway a female juvenile offender takes to and through the juvenile justice system. Theoretical Background Traditional criminological theories have either ignored female offending or evaluated the phenomenon from a view based in the stereotypical concept of the biological inferiority of women and their sex role socialization or sexual promiscuity (Cohen, 1955; Naffine, 1985; Pollack, 1950). Due to the small numbers of female offenders, early studies in criminology such as Shaw and McKay's study of concentric zones in the 1930s simply did not include girls or women in the samples. Females were given very limited consideration in most of the subsequent criminological theories developed during the 20th century (Cloward & Ohlin, 1960; Cohen, 1955; Hirschi, 1969;

13 Sutherland, 1947). Essentially, female delinquency was viewed as being unimaginative and dull compared to the activities engaged in by the male delinquent (Naffine, 1987). Sociological theories of delinquency, including ecological, differential association, control, strain, labeling, and Marxist/critical theories, have attempted to account for the effects of political systems, neighborhoods, social class, learning, and economic systems on the delinquent acts of the juvenile offender. These theories have generally failed to consider the specific nature of the female offender in relation to the theory¶s interpretation of the contributors to female juvenile offending. Subcultural (Cohen, 1955; Miller, 1958), strain (Cloward & Ohlin, 1960), control theory (Hirschi, 1969; Reckless, Dinitz, & Murray, 1956, 1957) and differential association (Sutherland & Cressey, 1978) were all developed with virtually exclusive reference to males because most empirical research has been conducted with samples predominately comprised of male adolescents (Chesney-Lind, 1989). This has resulted in limited insight into the theoretical explanations for female juvenile delinquency (Bloom, B., & Owen, B. 1998; Steffensmeier, Shwartz, Hong, & Ackerman, 2005). Early theories In the early 1900s, women were primarily perceived as sexual objects and expected to remain within male dominated social settings serving in roles such as nurturer, caretaker, and homemaker, often secondary to the men involved in their lives (Oakley, 1985). Early theories assumed that female delinquency was abnormal and extremely rare. They focused most of their explanations on the deviation of delinquent females from stereotypical femininity and the often presumed concept that women's

14 psychological functioning was related to their sexuality and biology (Lombroso & Ferraro, 1900; Koneke, 1966). Early criminologists focused almost exclusively on the female anatomy as the cause of juvenile female offending. Lombroso developed a theory of criminology based on the concepts of Social Darwinism and the belief that all individuals displaying antisocial or delinquent behavior were biological throwbacks (Lombroso-Ferraro, 2004). The born female criminal was perceived to have the criminal qualities of the male plus the worst characteristics of women. To address the fact that fewer women became involved with the criminal justice system, Lombroso hypothesized that men were less likely to breed with the delinquent, physically deformed women. Therefore, natural selection explained the existence of a greater number of male than female born criminals (Lombroso & Ferraro, 1900). Basically, the less attractive women were more likely to commit criminal acts; however due to their undesirability, they had fewer chances to transmit those delinquent genes to their offspring. Expanding beyond the physical aspects of the offender population, psychological theories of crime were developed in an attempt to explain individual differences in behaviors that contributed to delinquency. Early psychoanalytic theory, as developed by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), argued that the improperly socialized child may develop a personality disturbance that caused her or him to direct antisocial impulses inward or outward (Freud, 1961). The child who directed them outward became a criminal, while the child who directed them inward became neurotic. Specific to female offenders, Freud hypothesized that the concept of penis envy resulted in females engaging in delinquent activity. Freud hypothesized that women become neurotic in their quest to be more

15 masculine and turn to crime as a way to deny their feminine side. Freud indicated that if women valued their proper place in society as wives and as mothers they would not see themselves as incomplete and turn to crime (Freud, 1961). Sociological theorists such as Pollack (1950), Thomas (1967) and Reckless (1957) believed that criminality was pathological and driven by social interactions, rather than being determined by biological or psychological characteristics. For instance, Thomas (1967:68) says, "the girl as a child does not know she has any particular value until she learns it from others." Pollack (1950) indicated that the behavior learned by girls at a very young age led them into a masked or hidden form of female criminality. He contended that within the male-dominated society, women have always been viewed as secretive and dangerous. More specifically, Pollack speculated that precocious biological maturity was the largest contributor to female sexual delinquency. In sexual intercourse, the role of the male was to be active while the role of the female was passive. This passiveness in women contributes to their ability to be deceitful, and thus female delinquency is masked by the chivalrous treatment of the criminal justice system. Reckless (1957), however, believed the hidden nature of female delinquency was due to their restricted roles in society. In the 1960s, studies focused primarily on the prevalence of vague status offenses such as incorrigibility, or the simple need for care and protection, as the factors that distinguish between male and female delinquency (Cowie, Cowie, & Slater, 1968; Konopka, 1966; Vedder & Sommerville, 1970). Researchers suggested that female adolescents were more concerned with finding a boyfriend and having friends than with problems like blocked economic or capitalistic opportunities (Belknap, 2006).

16 Consequently, female delinquency acquired a stigma founded in the assumption that female offending was sexual in nature (Hoyt & Scherer, 1998). Female adolescents were arrested for acts considered immoral such as waywardness, underage drinking, truancy, and running away because society expressed concern over the sexual behavior or moral deprivation of female delinquents, while males who engaged in the same behavior were typically not arrested (Chesney-Lind, 1973; Shelden, 1981). Some concluded that this disparate processing of low-level offenses by gender created a sexual double standard in the juvenile justice system (Chesney-Lind, 1977). Life-course theory Life-course theorists have expanded on some of the initial assumptions proposed by early biological theorists. Haynie (2003) examined the relationship between girls¶ pubertal development and their delinquency involvement and reported that puberty affects girls¶ delinquency through parent and peer relationship. He noted that this was especially apparent in relation to activities that society predominately relates to adult behavior such as smoking, drinking, and sexual relations (Haynie, 2003). Moffit proposed two qualitatively different categories of delinquent offenders with her lifecourse persistent and adolescence-limited typology. Moffit¶s adolescent-limited theory of delinquency postulated that puberty leads to biological maturity much earlier than society allows social maturity. Some argue that the difference between biology¶s physical signals of adulthood and society¶s acceptance of adult status creates a disjuncture for adolescents which results in female adolescent delinquency (Moffit, Rutter & Silva, 2001). Subsequently, females stop offending when they enter legitimate adult roles.

17 Masculinization and emancipation Some criminologists have indicated that the increase in arrests for females is a result of the women¶s movement. For instance, Adler and Simon assumed that female delinquency had been curtailed by the limited aspiration and opportunity of women. They proposed the idea that social not biological circumstances defined the gender differences in delinquent behavior. Adler initiated dialog around women¶s crime rates and their changing social position in 1975 when she argued that the women¶s movement had changed the attitudes toward a general acceptance of the masculinzation of female behavior (Adler, 1975). With her masculinization hypothesis, Adler attributed the rise in female crime during the 1960s and 1970s to an increasing number of females adopting what were traditionally considered male roles, and thus increasingly masculinizing their attitudes and behavior. Adler postulated that the involvement of women in violent crime would increase as women modify their behavior to be more like men. Rita Simon (1975) expanded on this line of thought with her emancipation hypothesis. Simon postulated that the increased participation in the workforce afforded women greater opportunities to engage in criminal activity. Women were becoming socially and culturally more like men by competing and fighting as aggressively as men to advance their careers and establish themselves in society. Simon viewed the increasing involvement of women in crime is a consequence of social masculinzation and a cost of emancipation. Specifically, Simon hypothesized that women would engage in increased property crime as they now have access to greater opportunities. Studies generally fail to lend empirical support to the theories of Adler and Simon. Two studies conducted in the 1970s indicated that female juvenile delinquents

18 were found to regard their opportunities to achieve success less positively than nondelinquent females, and the general perception of blocked opportunities was predictive of future delinquent activity (Cernkovich & Giordano, 1979; Datesman, Scarpitti, & Stephenson, 1975). In addition, masculinization of the sex role has not been determined to be correlated with an increase in female offending (Norland, Wessel, & Shover, 1981; Shover et al., 1979; Thornton & James, 1979). In fact, females with more-masculine traits have been reported as being less involved in delinquency than females with more traditional traits. Austin (1982) tested the association between liberated attitudes among females and involvement in delinquent behavior and found that the hypothesized association to be virtually non-existent. Similarly, Figueria-McDonough (1984) found that females with more traditional gender attitudes tended to be more delinquent than those with liberated attitudes. Power-control Some theorist such as Rosenfield (1999) and Heimer and DeCoster (1999) have focused on the levels of social control exhibited by parents on males and females as the determining factor for delinquent activity. Hagan hypothesized that the socialization process for female adolescents varied based on the power structure of parental relationships within the home. Hagan's power-control theory posits that boys exhibit more independence and risk-taking behavior in part because parents supervise their activities less closely (Hagan, Gillis & Simpson, 1985; Hagan, 1991; Hagan, McCarthy, & Foster, 2002). Hagan's theory suggested that gender relations in society produce either a patriarchal or egalitarian family structure, each with different consequences for female crime. Hagan speculated that the patriarchal family more closely controls female

19 behavior, therefore female juvenile offenders commit less delinquent acts. The core assumption is that the mother working outside the home causes the daughter to find herself in a more egalitarian family structure which results in less supervision in the home (Hagan, et al., 1985), and is therefore more likely to engage in delinquent activity. However, Morash and Chesney-Lind¶s (1991) test of power-control theory found that gender differences in delinquency appeared regardless of the patriarchal or egalitarian family structure. General strain theory
Recently, Agnew's (1992, 2001, 2006) approach toward integrating literature on aggression, stress, and delinquency in his revised social-psychological general strain theory has gained momentum as a strong theoretical explanation for delinquent activity. Departing from the traditional versions of strain theory, general strain theory integrated the introduction of negative stimuli and the removal of positively valued stimuli with the strain of blocked goals as the catalyst for delinquent activity (Agnew, 1992). General strain theory assumes that crime and deviance are the result of frustration in a situation where opportunities and/ or emotions are blocked. Basically, revised strain theory centers on the premise that stressful events in the neighborhood or in the family led to delinquency, especially if resources for coping with that strain such as parent and peer support are nonexistent (Hoffman & Su, 1997; Mazerolle, 1998). Specifically, with general strain theory, Agnew postulated that the

strain of child abuse and neglect and physical victimization results in delinquent behavior (Agnew et. al., 2002; Agnew, 2006, Hay & Evans, 2006). Initially, he found some empirical support when he studied a sample of high school boys and found that violent victimization of family and friends was associated with aggressive delinquency. This new
twist to traditional strain theory led some such as Funk (1999) to contend that Agnew¶s

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general strain theory provides the best explanation for female delinquency. For instance, females adolescents arrested for running away typically state that escaping family violence and abuse were their reason for leaving home (Koroki & Chesney-Lind, 1985; McCormack,

Janus, & Burgess,1986). Adding to that rationale, running away leads female adolescents to
engage in a variety of delinquent activity such as prostitution as a form of survival (McCormick et al, 1986).

However, the empirical data evaluating general strain theory as an explanation for female delinquency does not account for the different factors that contribute to female and male juvenile offending. For instance, although studies conducted by Hoffman and Su (1997) and later Mazerolle (1998) indicated that the influence of strain on delinquent activity were similar for both male and female respondents, Mazerolle found that negative life events such as trauma, family structure and abuse predicted violent offending for male juvenile offenders but not for their female counterparts. While investigating the impact of interpersonal or psychosocial influence of strain by gender and the impact on delinquent activity, Agnew and Brezina (1997) found that there was a stronger correlation for males than females. This finding directly contradicted previous research focusing on interpersonal strain for females (Gilligan, 1982; Turner, Wheaton, & Lloyd, 1995; Turner & Turner, 1999) which had indicated that interpersonal strain resulted in female offending. More recently, in her test of general strain theory, Katz (2000) found that the theory explained male delinquency better than female. These findings suggest that general strain theory has failed the empirical test of explaining the causes and correlations of female juvenile offending.

21 The feminist approach The increase in feminist scholarship, as well as the increase in the number of female professionals in criminal justice since the late 1960s and 1970s, has resulted in pressure to examine the processing and treatment of delinquent girls (Belknap, 2001; Chesney-Lind, 1988; Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 1998). Heidensohn (1968) and Bertrand (1969) initiated the conversation regarding the absence of female offending in existing theories of crime and delinquency. Reckless encouraged criminologists to discard existing theories because of their "inapplicability to women" (p. 78). These observations led feminist scholars to conclude that the problem with existing theories included two important aspects. First, the core of criminological theory was based in a class, race and age based structure that essentially ignored the role of gender; and second, it was not known whether general theories could even be applied to female offending (Daly & Chesney-Lind, 1988). Early feminist critiques of criminological theory were based in the analysis of how crime had been explained and described (Daly & Chesney-Lind, 1988). They indicated that female delinquency was more often described as being influenced by biological factors than by social or economic variables, and most indicated that female offending was rooted primarily in sexual deviance (Heidensohn, 1986; Carlen & Worrall, 1987; Millman, 1975; Morris, 1987). Chesney-Lind (1973) suggested that female juvenile delinquency was sexualized, and that non-criminal offenses (status offenses) contributed to the largest portion of female offending. Feminist theory identified a key problem with the applicability of traditional theory to females ± youth can be incarcerated for both delinquent acts and status offenses

22 (Chesney-Lind, 1989). Feminist theory notes that the majority of studies regarding juvenile delinquency have focused solely on delinquent acts. Therefore, the lack of evaluation of the status offender and delinquency results in a consequential belief that ³there is considerable question as to whether existing theories that were admittedly developed to explain male delinquency can adequately explain female delinquency´ (Chesney-Lind, 1989, p. 10). The feminist approach to delinquency ³means construction of explanations of female behavior that are sensitive to its patriarchical context´ with specific focus on the social control of the legal system order that serves to reinforce a woman¶s place in a male dominated society´. (Chesney-Lind, 1989, p. 19). This has lead several theorists such as Daly, Chesney-Lind, Steffensmeier, and Allan to advance a gendered paradigm of female offending. This paradigm relies on existing theory and research, while noting that female offending is different in context and complexity than that of males. Steffensmeier and Allan (1996) argue that the principle shortcoming of gender neutral theories of crime is ³they are not very informative about the specific ways in which differences in the lives of men and women contribute to gender differences´ in delinquency (p. 473). Contemporary feminist theories have responded by suggesting the focus on gender and delinquency should extend beyond simply adding another variable to the research model in an attempt to study of female crime and delinquency; rather, the entire model should be structured differently by gender. Steffensmeier and Allan suggested that feminist theory, when informed by data regarding sexual victimization, may offer an area to the study of female crime and delinquency. According to this perspective, victimization acts as a trigger for delinquent behavior by females, often resulting in the female running away and turning to drugs

23 (Bishop-Frazier, 1992). Thus, behaviors such as runaway, truancy, and drug use are often viewed as ³survival´ skills that result in the girl¶s involvement in the juvenile justice system. Gendered pathways Studies have indicated that girls experience a different pathway toward and through the juvenile justice system than their male counterparts. Boys develop their self concepts and identities in relation to the world, while girls and young women develop their self concepts and identities in relation to their interactions with others (Gilligan & Brown, 1992). Gilligan and Brown argue that female moral development is based on a personal view and commitment to others. Therefore, attachment, interdependence and connectedness are critical to the foundation of their identity. Although female offenders occasionally engage in conduct more stereotypical of males such as aggression and assaultive behavior (Caufman et al., 1998), more often they suppress their aggression and struggle with the difficulty of managing their emotions, especially those associated with depression and anxiety (Ford, Chapman, Mack, & Pearson, 2006; McFadyen-Ketchum, Bates, Dodge & Petit, 1996). Delinquent girls have a higher risk of self-devaluation (Fagot & Leve, 1998), suicidality (Wanna & Fombonne, 1998; Wasserman et al., 2005), and conflict with family and school, including truancy, curfew violations, and runaway (Zocolllilo, Tremblay, & Vitaro, 1996) than their male counterparts. Studies have suggested that the daily life of justice involved girls is filled with interpersonal conflict and chaos. Chamberlain and Moore (2002) found that 28% of the girls they studied reported that they had a fight with a friend and almost 72% reported

24 that they had been involved in relational aggression in the within the previous 24 hours. Several studies have found girls who reside in violent homes have heightened risk factors for engaging in delinquent activity such as truancy, sexual promiscuity, running away, and substance abuse (Osofsky, 1999; Thornberry, Huizinga, & Loeber, 2004). Not surprisingly, female juveniles arrested for running away frequently experience family violence (Koroki & Chesney-Lind, 1985; McCormick, Janus, & Burgess, 1986; Rush, 1980) and emotional, physical, and sexual abuse (McCormick et al., 1986; Rhodes & Fischer, 1993; Silbert & Pines, 1981) as their primary motivation for leaving home (Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 1998). Although not all youth who experience trauma engage in delinquent activity, studies of youth involved with the juvenile justice system have found rates of trauma between 70% and 90% (McMackin, Morrissey, Newman, Erwin, & Daley, 1998; Rivera & Widom, 1990; Steiner, Garcia, & Mathews, 1997). Steiner et al. (1997) found that traumas experienced by boys and girls involved with the juvenile justice system were different. Male offenders were more likely to have witnessed a violent event, while females were more likely to have been the victim of violence. Compounding further the complexity of responding to female delinquency, females who have experienced trauma have consistently been found to develop mental health problems as a result of that trauma more often than their male counterparts with similar experiences (Cauffman, Feldman, Waterman, & Steiner, 1998; Crimmins et al., 2000; Giaconia et al., 1995). For example, the Denver Youth Study discovered that one-third of the violent female offenders evaluated displayed significant negative indicators within the domains of academic performance, mental health, and victimization (Huizinga & Jakob-Chen, 1998).

25 Victimization has been indicated as a central factor for female offending (Browne, Miller, &Maguin, 1999; Wood, Foy, Goguen, Pynoos, & James, 2002; Wood, Foy, Layne, Pynoos, & Boyd, 2002). Sexual victimization is a common form of trauma experienced among girls involved in the justice system and may be a contributing factor to the complex mental health needs of this population of offenders. Although it has been virtually absent from formal theories of female delinquency, some studies have examined the correlation between sexual abuse and female juvenile delinquency (Hoyt &Scherer, 1998). Dembo and colleagues (1985) collected data from a sample of juvenile offenders entering a reception center. They found that females had a higher rate of sexual abuse referrals than their male counterparts. Sherman (2005) conducted a study of chronically delinquent female offenders and noted that the first sexual encounters occurred at an average age of 6.75 (Sherman, 2005). Highlighting the difference between the rates of sexual trauma experienced by female and male offenders, the study found that only 3% of the male compared to 77% of female offenders had a history of abuse. Since anxiety disorders typically manifest as a result of trauma, it could be presumed that the stress of victimization contributes to delinquent activity (Wasserman et al., 2005). Furthermore, Goodkind et al. (2006) found that girls involved in the juvenile justice system who have experienced some form of sexual abuse had more negative mental health, school, substance use, risky sexual behavior, and delinquency outcomes than those who had not experienced this form of trauma (Goodkind, Ng, &Sarri, 2006). Some researchers have argued that the criminalization of victimization has resulted in pro-arrest policies for females which account for the increase in female offending in official arrest records. Chesney-Lind (2002) argued that changing policies

26 regarding mandatory arrests for incidents of domestic violence have actually resulted in girls being arrested for offenses that, previous to the policy changes, would have simply been viewed as status offenses. For instance, after initiating mandatory arrests for domestic violence calls, Prince William County in Maryland experienced an increase in arrests for domestic violence among women, up from 12.9% in 1992 to 21% in 1996 (Smith, 1996). In 1994, Maryland's Female Population Task Force reviewed over 2,000 female juvenile records for youth referred to the Maryland juvenile justice system. Evaluating cases of person-on-person offenses, the task force discovered that 97.9% involved an assaultive activity. Further study revealed that half of those assaults occurred within the family (Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice, 1995). Steffensmeier and colleagues (2005) reported that the rise in female violent or assaultive offending was the direct effect of "net-widening policy shifts" that had "escalated girls' arrest-proneness" (Steffensmeir, Schwartz, Zhong, & Ackerman, 2005, p. 355). Simply put, girls are being arrested for behavior that would not have warranted an arrest prior to the policy change. This relabeling of family arguments among females and their parents has resulted in a form of ³bootstrapping´ (defined below) of female offenders, especially among African American youth, into the system (Bartollas, 1993; Chesney-Lind, 2002). Gender disparity in system processing Studies of delinquency and the response of the juvenile justice system have consistently found that both legal and extra legal factors contribute to the detention and dispositional outcomes of youth involved in juvenile offending. However, similar to the results of studies on the impact of race and justice system processing, findings have been inconsistent regarding the effects of gender on case outcomes in post adjudication

27 disposition decisions (Belknap 2001; Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 1998). Some studies have found that girls were the recipients of more severe sanctions than their male counterparts, especially regarding systemic responses to status offenses (Bishop & Frazier, 1992; Chesney-Lind, 1977, 1988; Shelden & Horvath, 1986; Odem, 1995). Other studies indicate that females receive more lenient outcomes for delinquent behavior than males (Bishop & Frazier, 1996; Farrington & Morris, 1983; Johnson & Scheuble, 1991). Some research has failed to find any differences in the handling of delinquency cases based on gender (Dannefer & Schutt, 1982; Kempf-Leonard & Sontheimer, 1995). Others have shown that female juveniles received both more severe and more lenient outcomes than their male counterparts. In their analysis of the petition, adjudication, and disposition stages of the juvenile court processing, MacDonald & Chesney-Lind (2001) reported no difference between boys and girls in the decision to petition an offense. However, during the adjudication stage, ³charge seriousness´ was more important for girls than boys. During the disposition stage, the reverse was discovered. Thus, when female juvenile offenders are adjudicated delinquent, they were ³more likely than boys to be given a restrictive sanction for a less serious offense´ (p.187). Incarceration or detention of status offenders is against the law under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974. However, a change to the JJDPA in 1980 provided the opportunity for status offenders, found in contempt of court for violating a valid court order to be placed in secure detention facilities (Bishop & Frazier, 1992). The amendment also indicated that contempt proceedings may be based either on a commission of a subsequent status offense or a failure to comply with a prior

28 court order (Sherman, 2005). The 1980 amendment thereby indirectly nullified the Act¶s original intent of keeping status offenders out of detention, and instead broadened the net for incarcerating female juvenile offenders. Subsequently, studies focused on the preadjudication detention decisions related to status offenses have consistently reported that female juvenile offenders were more likely than their male counterparts to be detained for status offenses, technical violations and warrants (Sherman, 2005; Sickmund, Sladly & Kang, 2004). By engaging in a practice that has been commonly called ³bootstrapping,´ courts detain females through findings of contempt of court, probation violations, or violations of court orders for underlying status offenses or minor delinquent behavior (Bishop & Frazier, 1992; Sherman, 2005). Studies indicate that as a result of "bootstrapping," there has been an increase in the numbers of female juvenile offenders being detained pre adjudication for offenses that are less threatening to the community than those of their male counterparts. Data obtained from the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) launched by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 1992 have revealed an emerging trend in juvenile detention. The initial findings of the study reported that during the period from 1985 to 1995, the number of juveniles housed in secure detention nationwide increased by 72% (Sherman, 2005). It could be assumed that that this increase could have been due to an increase in violent offenders for whom, for the sake of community safety, no other alternative could be found. However, less than one-third of the juvenile offenders in detention in 1995 were charged with a violent offense. In fact, there were more youth detained for status offenses than violent offenses, with violations of court orders accounting for 39.9% of detention population.

29 Regarding gender differences, female juvenile offenders were more likely than their male counterparts to be detained for status offenses, technical violations and warrants (Sherman, 2005). In 2001, technical violations and status offenses accounted for 41% of detentions for female juvenile offenders, but accounted for only 25% of detentions of their male peers. In some circumstances female offenders comprised more than 70% of youth detained for status offenses (Sickmund et al., 2004). A survey of four study sites conducted by the American Bar Association and the National Bar Association (2001) found that although females comprised only 14% of the total detention population at any given time, 30% of those girls were detained again within one year. For those redetained, 53% of females compared to 41% of their male counterparts were detained for probation or technical violations. For those who returned to detention twice in one year, 60% of the females compared to 47% of the male juveniles were detained for probation and technical violations. Even more striking, 72% of the females compared to 49% of the males who were detained three or more times within one year were detained for probation violations (American Bar Association & National Bar Association, 2001). Bishop and Frazier (1992) indicated that gender differences were even more obvious in the use of detention for repeat status offenders found in contempt of court. Their study found that the male status offender had a 3.9% chance of incarceration if he was referred for an additional status offense, but the chance of incarceration increased to 4.4% if he was found in contempt of court. However, the typical female juvenile offender had a 1.8% chance of incarceration if referred for a status offense with an increase to 63.2% if she was found in contempt of court.

30 In 2006, the Juvenile Offenders and Victims National Report indicated that this trend had extended to custodial placements other than detention as well. It reported that the proportion of females held in custody had increased from 13% in 1991 to 15% by 2003 (Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). However, the female proportion was greater among status offenders (40%) than delinquent offenders (14%) held in custody (Snyder et al., 2006). Gavazzi, Yarcheck and Chesney-Lind (2006) noted in their evaluation of the risk and needs of youth in a detention center that girls were significantly more likely to be detained for incorrigibility and domestic violence and that parents were more likely the complainants. Their findings indicated boys were significantly more likely to be arrested for property offenses with complainants more likely to be citizens in the community rather than the boys' parents. Providing a strong statement as to the difference in gender based detention decisions, the authors summarized the difference between male and female juvenile detention decisions: ³«boys are detained as a response to public safety issues, whereas girls are detained because of problems at home´ (Gavazzi, Yarcheck, & Chesney-Lind, 2006: 608). Mental health disorders and delinquency While academic attention to the prevalence of mental disorders among incarcerated adults and related issues was initiated in the 1970s (Lamb, Wienberger, & Gross, 1998; Metzner, Cohen, & Grossman, 1998), no reliable studies on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among juvenile offenders exist prior to the 1990s (Otto et al., 1992). Studies targeting the examination of these issues specific to juvenile offenders with mental illness have recently gained momentum. It has been estimated 9% to 13% of American children and adolescents in the general population between ages nine to 17

31 have a serious diagnosable psychiatric disorder (Friedman, Katz-Levy, Manderscheid, & Sondheimer, 1996). However, despite the differences in instrumentation and methodology, numerous studies conducted over the last decade have indicated much higher rates of psychiatric disorders, including high rates of traumatic stress, among youth involved in the juvenile justice system (Abram et al., 2004; Arroyo, 2001; Cauffman et al., 1998; Wasserman et al., 2002; Wood, Foy, Goguen, Pynoos, & James, 2002; Wood, Foy, Layne, Pynoos, & Boyd, 2002). The specific scope of the issue has been difficult to identify because of the wide variety of estimates in each study. Studies initiated in the 1990s estimated prevalence rates from anywhere from 50% to 100%. For instance, Faenza et al. (2000), reported an estimated prevalence rate of 53% for offenders in Maryland , 76% was reported for offenders in Texas (Pliszka et al., 2000), and 100% of juveniles were estimated to meet criteria for a psychiatric disorder in Ohio (Timmons-Mitchell et al., 1997). Teplin et al. (2002) found that 66% of the males and 74% of the females among a sample of youth detainees in a large city met diagnostic criteria for at least one mental health diagnosis. For substance abuse, almost half the entire sample, both male and female, met diagnostic criteria. In 2001, a study evaluated youth involved with both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. The study found that 52% of a sample of youths with prior juvenile justice involvement met criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis, while the child welfare involved youth indicated a rate of 54% (Garland, Hough, McCabe, Yeh, Wood, & Aarons, 2001). The variation among findings of previous studies is even more apparent when one evaluates the difference in rates for specific internalizing disorders. For instance, mood

32 disorders have been estimated to be as high as 72% (Timmons-Mitchell et al., 1997) to approximately 20% (Teplin et al., 2002), and a low of 10% (Wasserman et al., 2002). Anxiety disorders have been indicated at a high of 52% (Timmons-Mitchell et al., 1997), to 20% - 30% (Teplin et al., 2002), and a low of 8% (Garland et al., 2001). Estimates of psychotic-spectrum disorders such as schizophrenia or anti-social personality disorder range from a high of 16% (Timmons-Mitchell et al., 1997) to a low of 1% (Teplin et al., 2002). Several explanations exist as to why there is such a disparity in the prevalence of mental health disorders of youth involved with juvenile justice system. Most consider the possibility of methodological issues, such as instrumentation or underdeveloped operational definitions of the disorders (Grisso, 2004). However, a critical overlooked difference in the studies has been which stage in the juvenile justice process the sample of evaluated youth was drawn. Each of the previous studies attempted to establish a prevalence rate for psychiatric disorders among youth involved in the juvenile justice system. However, they each included youth at different stages in the juvenile justice process. Teplin et al. (2002) evaluated youth detained in a temporary detention center. Those youth were either waiting to appear in court for their adjudication hearing or were pending a transition to an out-of-home placement as a result of the disposition. Either way, they were youth who were deemed by the court to be unsafe to the community to return home. However, Wasserman et al. (2002) included all youth referred to the intake process for urban probation departments in a selected state. A majority of those youth returned home after intake, while a select few were detained pending their court hearing.

33 This indicates that the symptomology and concentration of mental health needs for justice involved youth vary throughout different intercept points in the system. Atkins and colleagues (1999) demonstrated different concentrations among youth involved in both the mental health and juvenile justice system. Using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC) 2.3, Atkins found that 86% of youth hospitalized for a mental health emergency met criteria for at least one mental health diagnosis (Atkins et al., 1999). However, of the youth in the study receiving treatment in the community from the local mental health center, 60% met criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder. In comparison, 72% of youth who were incarcerated in a juvenile justice setting met criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder, suggesting that incarceration of youth in the juvenile justice system may be an intermediate step for mental health treatment between the community mental health and the mental health hospital systems. Youth involved with the juvenile justice system often have not one but several comorbid psychiatric disorders. Wasserman et al. (2005) found the prevalence of youth who met criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder to be 39%, with 16% of the total sample meeting criteria for three or more disorders. For instance, antisocial behaviors included everything from serious acts of delinquency such as drug abuse, burglary, vandalism, and assault to minor status offenses such as truancy and runaway (Henggler, Schoenwald, Rowland, & Cunningham, 1998). There is considerable overlap in the antisocial behaviors of delinquent youth and conduct disordered youth, such that treatment needs of youth in the juvenile justice system are often the same as those for youth in the mental health system (Melton & Pagliocca, 1992). Some have even argued that the same youth

34 appear in both systems (Atkins et al., 1999; Cocozza & Skowyra, 2000; Teplin et al., 2002 & Wasserman et al., 2002). Gender disparity in mental health disorders A major limitation of previous studies regarding disposition decisions and gender is that the datasets utilized did not include extralegal variables such as trauma, physical or sexual abuse history, and mental health needs that result in different rates of system processing. In addition to chaotic family dynamics, female juvenile offenders have significant mental health issues that may contribute to their behavior (Teplin et al., 2002; Wasserman, McReynolds, Ko, Katz, & Carpenter, 2005). The different experiences of females involved in the juvenile justice system have been found to correlate to substantially different rates of mental health need and psychopathology between female and male juvenile offenders. For instance, Dembo et al. (1995) discovered that although males were more delinquent than females, females showed higher rates of sexual abuse and exploitation issues, and higher rates of identified risk factors related mental health need. Therefore, it is not surprising that studies have consistently indicated that girls have higher rates of psychiatric disorders than their male counterparts (Abram et al., 2004; Arroyo, 2001; Cauffman et al., 1998; Wasserman et al., 2002; Teplin, 2002). A major difference in psychiatric disorders between the genders is related to how those disorders manifest. Females present a higher prevalence of internalizing disorders that result in symptoms that are expressed inwardly, while males predominately present with externalizing behaviors that manifest as substance abuse and behaviors that become problematic for others (Abram, Teplin, McLelland & Dulcan, 2003; Avison & McAlpine, 1992; Rosenfield, Lennon, & White, 2005; Rosenflield, Lennon, & White, 2006, Teplin

35 et al., 2002; Teplin, et al., 2005). Female juvenile offenders have a lower prevalence of externalizing disorders such as conduct and oppositional defiant disorder than male juvenile offenders (Loeber et al., 2000). The behaviors typically exhibited by internalizing disorders include anxiety, shyness, hypersensitivity, physical complaints, and withdrawal from others (Kazdin, 1995). Thus, females involved with juvenile justice system tend to have high rates of anxiety disorders, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, somatization disorders, and borderline personality disorders (Dembo et al., 1993; Offord, 1987; Rhode, Mace, & Steeley, 1997; Richards, 1996; TimmonsMitchell et al., 1997; Wannan & Fomjbonne, 1998). Comparing sex differences among a sample of youth in a juvenile detention facility Rohde, Mace and Steeley (1997:192) found "that girls were more likely than boys to have a lifetime occurrence of major depression". In addition, adolescent girls with conduct disorders are more at risk than adolescent males for depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior (Loeber et al., 2000). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the disorders that has been more commonly found among youth incarcerated in the juvenile justice system than those in the community (Abram, 2004; Cauffman et al., 1998; Wasserman et al., 2002), with estimates varying from 3% to over 50% (Arroyo, 2001; Garland, et al., 2001; Teplin, et al., 2002; Wasserman et al., 2002). However, female juvenile offenders are more likely than males to have higher rates of the disorder. Wood and colleagues (2002) reported that females reported higher levels of psychological distress, especially among their measures for PTSD and depression. Abram and colleagues (2004) indicated that among a sample of juveniles in detention, significantly more males (93.2%) than females (84%) reported a traumatic experience, yet more females (18%) met diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic

36 stress disorder than males (11%). Additionally, Steiner and colleagues (1997) found that female offenders were 50% more likely to be diagnosed with post-traumatic disorder than their male counterparts. Another critical difference in the diagnosis found between males and females involved in the juvenile justice system is the prevalence of co-occurring disorders (Kann & Hanna, 2000; Wannan & Fomjbonne, 1998). Studies of psychiatric disorders and comorbidity consistently report a higher prevalence for females involved than males (Dembo, Williams, & Schmeidler, 1993; Kataoka, 2001; Randall, Henggeler, Pickrel, & Brondino, 1999; Ulzen, Psych, & Hamilton, 1998). Specifically, Abram et al. (2003) found that 46% of males and 57% of females in detention had at least two diagnosable mental health disorders, compared to the 17% of females and 20% of males who met criteria for only one disorder. Moffitt and colleagues (2000) found that beginning with the age of 13 and continuing through adolescence, the symptoms of depression worsen substantially for girls with co-occurring conduct disorder in comparison to other groups of either boys or girls. Mental health disorders and disparate system response Studies generally imply that 20% of youth in the general population have a mental health disorder, with up to 13% of those youth having a serious disorder (Hubner & Wofson, 2000). However, estimates of youth in the juvenile justice system with mental health disorders show a much higher prevalence ranging from 50% to 80%, with approximately 20% having a serious psychiatric disorder (Cocozza & Skowyra, 2000; Teplin, Abram, & McClelland, 1998). It is important to note that the vast majority of individuals arrested are placed on probation (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006), and

37 those with identified mental health disorders are typically required to participate in treatment as a condition of their probation (Ditton, 1999; Skeem, Emke-Frances, & Louden 2006). Special conditions of probation require the juvenile probation officer (JPO) to supervise and enforce mental health treatment, despite the limited community resources and/or family support to address the identified mental health issues. Therefore, a critical component in processing juvenile offenders with mental health needs in the juvenile justice system relates to assessments made by the supervising probation officer (Mallicoat, 2007). These assessments are conducted to inform the court in making disposition decisions and are intended to be individualized to each offender (Bridges & Steen, 1988; Walsh, 1985; Watkins, 1998). Probation officers do not only reflect their own perspective in assessing offender behavior, but also the ideology of their department by linking the characteristics of a particular case within the predetermined categories of supervision and rehabilitation established by their organization (Cicourel, 1968). Enforcing and monitoring compliance with treatment is viewed as a probation officer¶s primary assignment in supervising offenders with mental illness. However, there are a limited number of standardized guidelines to assist an officer with the supervision of youth with mental health disorders, and the few that are available have primarily focused on the adult system (Skeem, Encandela, & Louden, 2003). Thus, the interaction of juvenile justice and mental health systems for these youth can become rather complicated. Relative to offenders without a diagnosed disorder those with co-morbid disorders have double the risk of having formal treatment conditions imposed on them (Monahan et al., 2005). Draine and Solomon (2001) discovered that probation officers supervising mentally ill offenders in the community actually threatened two-thirds of

38 those offenders with incarceration for noncompliance with the mandated treatment. When compared to offenders without a mental health diagnosis, those with a mental health need were less likely to be successful under supervision and more likely to be revoked to serve disposition in an institution (Dauphinot, 1996; Pourpino & Motiuk, 1995). When the youth¶s mental illness limits their ability to function, they may have greater difficulty following the basic conditions of their probation (Orlando- Morningstar, Skoler, & Holliday, 1999). It is not uncommon for judges to add conditions to probation that require compliance with medication, therapy, or other mental health service programs (Draine & Solomon, 2001). Incarceration is traditionally viewed as the primary tool available to officers in enforcing probation stipulations. This allows officers to use technical violations to incarcerate individuals for violating a court order on behaviors that, by themselves, would not be illegal for the general population. This suggests that there would be a higher rate of out-of-home placement and incarceration as a result of being involved in the juvenile justice system for juvenile offenders with a mental health needs. In a three year study of adult probationers, Dauphinot (1996) found that the rates of rearrest for offenders with mental illness (54%) were significantly greater than that of probationers without mental health disorders (30%). Not surprisingly, studies have found that offenders with mental health disorders are disproportionately represented in juvenile correctional facilities (Atkins et al., 1999; Teplin et al., 1998; Wasserman et al., 2007). In addition to their inability to complete community probation, several studies have called into question how the mentally ill offender is processed through the system. The most fundamental assumption of mental health competency and justice system

39 involvement is that mental health disorders are a risk factor for involvement in the criminal justice system (Winick, 1996). In 1966, with Miranda v. Arizona decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that suspects must be made aware of their right to counsel and the right against self-incrimination. Commonly known as Miranda rights, offenders have the right to waive their rights at any given time. In order for a waiver to be valid, it must be made intelligently and knowingly or competently (Redlich, Silverman, & Steiner, 2003). However, studies have begun to show that offenders with mental health needs, especially juveniles, are less competent in navigating the justice system than offenders without mental health disorders (Grisso, 1980; Grisso, 1981; Grisso & Seigel, 1986; Viljoen, Roesch, & Zapf, 2002). Research has revealed that young age, low intelligence (Grisso, 1981), and mental illness (Viljoen et al., 2002) are correlated with a limited ability to understand one's legal rights. Specifically, Viljoen and colleagues (2002, p. 497) found that offenders with psychotic disorders ³demonstrated high levels of impaired legal abilities´ when compared to their counterparts without psychotic disorders. In addition, studies have found that a vast majority of juvenile offenders waive their rights both to Miranda (Grisso & Pomicter, 1977; Ferguson & Douglas, 1970) and to counsel during their initial court hearings (Dodge, 1997), even without coercion (Leo, 1996). More importantly, courts do not often question the validity of a juvenile's Miranda waiver (Feld, 2000). The MacArthur Juvenile Adjudicative Competence Study found that the risk of incompetence to stand trial was greater for juveniles younger than fourteen and for youth with IQ scores below 80 (Grisso et al., 2003). Some studies have extended the evaluation of capacity to stand trial to include psychiatric disorder. Kazdin (2003) studied the

40 cognitive deficiencies associated with mental disorders in adolescents, finding that the typical symptoms of psychiatric disorders include a disorganization of thought that results in the distortion of reality in decision making. Specifically, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety disorders can increase the risk for impulsive decision making and impair focus during the decision making processes (Kazdin, 2003). In addition, depression commonly resulted in a distortion of information processing that caused an offender to experience difficulty in assessing the implications of their decision making. Therefore, these youth may be more prone to agreed adjudication procedures whereby they are funneled deeper into the system than they would have been if their ability to competently participate in their own defense were not impeded by their psychiatric disorder(s). There is some evidence that youth with mental health needs are more harshly processed by the juvenile justice system than offenders without psychiatric symptomology or diagnosis. In a study conducted in King County, Washington, Vander Stoep, Evens & Taub (1997) found juveniles participating in public mental health services were almost three times more likely to become involved with juvenile justice authorities than those of similar characteristics in the general population. Of the youth referred, juveniles involved with the community mental health system were more likely to be referred to the juvenile justice system for minor charges such as trespassing, runaway and minor property damage. In addition, youth involved with the community mental health system were adjudicated at a higher rate than juveniles not involved with the mental health system. Specifically, 22% of the referrals among youth from the community not involved in the mental health system resulted in convictions compared to

41 47% for the youth involved with mental health system (Vander Stoep, Evens & Taub, 1997). Therefore, those youth received more severe sanctions for their behavior than juveniles without a diagnosis. Some researchers have speculated that juvenile offenders with mental health needs are being placed in juvenile justice institutions in order to receive, or pending, mental health treatment. Atkins and colleagues (1999) conducted an analysis that included samples of youth who were receiving services from a community mental health center, a state run mental health hospital, or incarcerated in a juvenile reception center. The study found that 86% of hospitalized and 60% of those in the community mental health system met criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder. This was not surprising considering the fact that both the state and the community mental health systems are designed and mandated to serve youth and adults with psychiatric disorders. However, the juvenile justice setting disproportionately held youth with a mental health disorder, with 72% of youth who were incarcerated in a juvenile justice setting meeting criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder. In 2004, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform focused on the incarceration of youth who were waiting for community mental health services in the United States (United States House of Representatives, 2004). At the request of Representative Henry Waxman and Senator Susan Collins, the Special Investigations Division surveyed juvenile detention facilities across the U.S. The survey responses indicated that two-thirds of juvenile detention facilities held youth simply because they were waiting for community mental health treatment. Thirty three of the responding states indicated that youth were held in detention centers without any formal

42 charges being levied against them. Of the juvenile detention facilities that reportedly held youth waiting for community mental health services, two-thirds indicated that several of these youth attempted suicide while detained in the facility. Disparate treatment for female offenders with mental health disorders There is a paucity of literature examining the response of the juvenile justice system to girls with co-occurring psychiatric disorders and delinquent behaviors. However, several studies have identified a correlation between severe mental health disorders and justice system involvement. Davis et al. (2009) found that girls involved with the mental health system were arrested at younger ages and more frequently than girls without mental health involvement (Davis, Fisher, Gershenson, Grudzinskas, & Banks, 2009). Within the mental health system, some studies indicated that boys and girls were treated differently. Girls had less likelihood of receiving medications and received them for different diagnoses than males (Zito et al., 1999; Zito et al., 2000). Controlling for diagnosis, Pavkov et al. (1997) found that for those youth needing hospitalizations, girls received shorter periods of hospitalization than boys. These facts led some authors to suggest that girls were typically undertreated for their mental health needs (Cuffe et al., 1995) and others to suggest that this lack of treatment may result in their involvement in the juvenile justice system (Dembo et al., 1993; Dembo et al., 1995; Wasserman et al., 2005). When race was included in analysis, Cuffe et al., found that race and gender both played a role in treatment for mental health needs, cumulating in the highest risk of under-treatment for African-American females. Some have indicated that internalizing psychiatric disorders such as depression influence the propensity of girls' toward antisocial behavior (Kovacs, 1996; Renouf &

43 Harter, 1990). Copeland et al. (2007) identified a trend toward arrest for females with depressive and anxiety disorders. Specifically, Copeland found that ³20.6% of female crime and 15.3% of male crime´ was attributed to mental health disorders with the existence of anxiety and depressive disorders as strong indicators for involvement by female offenders in delinquent behavior (Copeland et al., 2007, p. 1673). Some studies indicated girls involved in the juvenile justice system for violent offenses had much higher rates of anxiety disorders than their male counterparts (Wasserman et al., 2007; Atkins, et al., 1999). Wasserman (2007) found that a gender-mental health disorder interaction indicating that ³girls charged with violent crimes were three to five times more likely than others to report anxiety disorders´ (p. 134). The combination of criminal justice involvement and psychiatric disorders has been determined to correlate with long-term negative effects for female offenders (Robins & Price, 1991; Zoccolillo & Rogers, 1991). Robins and colleagues conducted several studies that indicated the combination juvenile delinquency and psychiatric diagnosis predicted poor long-term outcomes, such as continued mental health needs and high utilization of social services for females (Robins, 1986; Robins et al., 1991). Specifically, Lewis et al. (1991) conducted a longitudinal study of 159 women who were committed to the California Youth Authority during the eight year period of 1961 - 1969. The sample included girls who were randomly assigned to either incarceration or community treatment. The average number of arrests prior to the assignment to either the community treatment or incarceration group was 4.6, with a majority of those being status offenses. However, they found that neither treatment (community or incarceration) had an effect. The mean arrests for the community treatment group after assignment

44 increased to 7.2, with the seriousness of the offenses increasing while as adults; only 4% had no further arrests in both groups. Twenty-seven percent had at least two arrests with 40% having been arrested for crimes against person and 60% being incarcerated at least once (Lewis et al., 1991). Summary and Conclusion Findings of studies examining the influence of gender on juvenile justice system processing vary. Some suggest that for status offenses, females receive more severe sanctions than their male counterparts (Bishop & Frazier, 1992; Chesney-Lind, 1977, 1988; Odem, 1995; Shelden and Horvath, 1986), while others report that males receive more severe sanctions for delinquent acts (Bishop & Frazier, 1996; Farrington & Morris, 1983; Johnson & Scheuble, 1991). Adding complexity to the discussion, recent studies suggest there is a correlation between juvenile justice system processing and psychiatric disorders, with some research indicating that girls with mental health disorders are funneled deeper into the system for less serious offenses than their male counterparts. Targeted research evaluating the influence of gender and psychiatric disorder in postadjudication disposition decisions for juvenile offenders is lacking. Therefore, a study examining the roles and potential interactions of gender and psychiatric disorder in juvenile justice system processing is warranted. Analyzing the extent to which psychiatric disorder influences juvenile justice system processing will provide a more comprehensive picture of the unique contribution of gender differences in behavior and juvenile justice system involvement. Chapter three describes the methods employed in the current study to evaluate the influence of gender and mental health need in disposition decisions resulting in residential placement. It includes a description of the data to be examined,
sampling procedures, measures, and statistical analyses to be performed.

45

CHAPTER 3 METHODS Research Design The juvenile justice system in Texas includes two oversight arms of state government. First, the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) is the institutional division of juvenile justice, in which wards of the state participate in rehabilitative programming in secure institutions administered by the state of Texas. The second division involves the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission (TJPC). The TJPC functions as an administrative oversight agency whereby youth remaining under the supervision of local, county based juvenile probation departments are subject to progressive sanctions designed to divert youth from commitment to the state operated TYC. TJPC works in partnership with each of the 165 local juvenile boards and juvenile probation departments to support and enhance juvenile probation services throughout the state (Texas Juvenile Probation Commission & Texas Youth Commission, 2010). TYC is directly responsible for administering the state¶s juvenile correctional facilities, parole programs, and related community-based services for youth who are committed to the custody and care of the state. In addition to providing services and a safe environment for youth committed to its custody, the agency operates divisions for training, monitoring, security, research, treatment, education, medical oversight, and administrative operations. Most of the studies conducted on juvenile offenders focus on youth who fall within the purview of TYC or the equivalent institutional division of other state juvenile justice systems. Youth are often subject to intermediate actions by local

46 juvenile authorities before being committed to an institution operated by the State, with local jurisdictions serve as the gate keepers of youth sent to state run-youth prisons such as TYC. For this reason, the current study evaluates the dispositional decisions made under the jurisdiction of local juvenile probation departments. In 2001, the Texas Legislature initiated a statute that mandated TJPC to implement a mental health screening protocol and develop a policy of recommended actions based upon those screening criteria for the local juvenile probation departments (Schwank, Espinosa & Tolbert, 2003). This protocol was to serve as a means of guiding departments in making decisions regarding when to refer juveniles for assessment by a mental health professional. TJPC selected the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-2 (MAYSI-2) as the mental health screening instrument, requiring its use for all youth referred to local juvenile probation departments (Schwank et al., 2003).The MAYSI-2 is a brief self-administered screening tool developed by the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Designed as a screening instrument for various types of reported mental impairments, distress and patterns of problem behavior, it was developed to be administered by persons without clinical training (Grisso & Barnum, 2003). As of 2004, 36 states have adopted the MAYSI-2 for use within their juvenile justice systems (Grisso, 2004). The MAYSI-2 ³serves as a first look at the possibility of a youth¶s special mental health needs, but it does not seek to diagnose mental disorders or to provide information on which important and long-term interventions should be decided´ (Grisso & Barnum, 2000, p. 11). The MAYSI-2 is a 52-item, self-report scale which has been normed specifically on youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Based on the youth's responses, it renders a ³caution´ for areas of concern, and ³warning´ when a

47 youth scores in the top 10% of seven areas including: Angry- Irritable, Alcohol and Drug Use, Depressed- Anxious, Somatic Complaints, Suicidal Ideation, Thought Disturbance, and Traumatic Experiences. The developers of the MAYSI-2 designated both caution and warning cutoffs. If a youth scores within the caution cutoff, then "the youth has scored at a level that can be said to have possible clinical significance" (Grisso & Barnum, 2000, 27). The warning cutoff indicates "the youth has scored exceptionally high in comparison to other youths in the juvenile justice system" (Grisso & Barnum, 2000, 29). Depending the combination and number of warning and cautions the youth receives on the MAYSI-2, TJPC's recommended actions include for a mental health assessment. The cutoffs set by TJPC for a mental health assessment include two or more warnings or four or more cautions across any of the subscales, or a warning on the suicide ideation subscale. Any youth meeting these criteria are required by TJPC to be referred by the juvenile probation department to a mental health professional for an evaluation (Schwank et al., 2003). To evaluate the potential effects of gender and mental health status on juvenile justice system processing, a three-part analysis will be conducted. The first part will include an evaluation of the influence of gender on placement among all juvenile referrals in the selected urban counties of Texas controlling for the MAYSI screening variables. The second part will include an analysis of the mental health status for female juvenile offenders compared to their male counterparts. This will focus on the rates of mental health assessment by gender for those youth who screen within the cutoffs on the MAYSI screening variables, as well as an analysis of the diagnoses of those youth who receive an assessment. The final part of the analysis will include an evaluation of the

48 influence of gender on placement for juveniles, controlling for mental health diagnosis or need. Measures
Predictor variables The main predictor variables to be considered are gender and mental health need. Gender is considered a static variable and will be coded as male or female. However, because the variable "mental health need" can be interpreted with a broad array of values, the operational definition for this study will be structured within the context of four levels. Level one will include those juveniles who score within the TJPC established cutoffs on the MAYSI-2. The second level will include those juveniles who receive a diagnosis. This will include youth who scored within the cutoffs on the MAYSI -2 and will be coded into the two binary categories of yes or no. The third level will include those youth who received a mental health assessment and will be coded into the two binary categories based upon the youth's primary diagnosis of either an internalizing or externalizing disorder based on the guidelines in the DSM IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). The fourth and final level will be developed to capture the level of co-occurring or co-morbid diagnosis. This variable will be coded to include whether the youth had additional diagnoses in addition to the primary disorder, and if so, whether the co-occurring disorder was internalizing, externalizing, or substance use. External disorders include behaviors that "are directed toward the environment and others" (Kazdin, 2005, p. 8). Typically these include behaviors associated with problems related to impulsiveness, inattention, and overreaction. The primary behaviors associated with this category include being oppositional, hyperactive, aggressive, and antisocial (Kazdin, 2005). The psychiatric disorders associated with this category include attention-

49
deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and substance abuse disorders (Kazdin, 2005; Texas Department of State Health Services, 2007).

Internalizing disorders include emotions and behaviors that are directed toward the self or internal experience (Kazdin, 2005). Typical behaviors associated with this category include inhibition, withdrawal, disassociation, and constraint (Kazdin, 2005). The psychiatric disorders associated with this category include depression, bi-polar, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and other mood disorders (Kazdin, 2005; Compton, Burns, Egger, & Robertson, 2002; TDSHS, 2007). Outcome measures The outcome measures considered in this study will include mental health assessment, type of disposition, and disposition decisions resulting in removal from the home and placement in a secure or non-secure residential setting. The placement variable will consolidate both secure and non-secure residential placements into one variable. The non-secure category will include any disposition decision that resulted in a placement that may include, but was not limited to, a residential treatment center, therapeutic foster care, and a mental health or substance abuse treatment facility. The secure placement variable will include any detention or secure post-adjudication facility that is either operated by or contracted with the local juvenile probation department or commitment to TYC. Control measures The control measures will include age, ethnicity, number of previous offenses, most severe previous offense, current offense, and all previous dispositions. Offenses will be categorized from the 4,019 types of offenses contained in the TJPC codebook into the categories of felony, misdemeanor, violation of probation (VOP), and "bootstrap". The categorical coding guidelines identified within the TJPC data code book will be used as a

50 guideline during recoding for this variable. It should be noted that the same codebook is used by the juvenile probation officer¶s inputting the data into the state's data collection system, thereby reducing some potential threats to reliability in the study. The bootstrap category will be developed to tie the data elements to the level of offense the feminist literature has identified as the key distinguishing feature of delinquent behavior and involvement in the juvenile justice system between female and male juvenile offenders. It will include offenses that previous research has categorized as status offenses (otherwise known as ³Conduct Indicating Need for Supervision Offenses´ or CHINS offenses), Class C misdemeanors, and contempt of court referrals. Status offenses would not be considered criminal acts if they were committed by an adult. These types of offenses include activity such as runaway, truancy, and curfew violations. Class C misdemeanors are typically violations of city or county ordinances and are processed in a manner similar to status offenses. Data Sources Secondary data will be collected from the research and assessment divisions of the three largest urban juvenile probation departments in Texas, which consist of Dallas, Travis, and Harris Counties. Data will be gathered on all youth referred to the juvenile probation departments from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2008. To control for the potential confounding variable of access to mental health assessments, probation department with licensed mental health professionals and designated assessment centers will be targeted for study, while also controlling for effects across counties. Due to the fact that this study will utilize secondary data, listwise deletion will be utilized to

51 eliminate any missing values from analysis. Appropriate diagnostics will be run to determine whether missing data are randomly distributed. Hypotheses H1: Female juvenile offenders are disposed to residential care more often than males for lower level offenses when controlling for mental health need. H2: Female juvenile offenders entering the system are more likely than their male counterparts to have co-occurring psychiatric disorders. H3: Juvenile offenders with mental health needs are disposed to residential care more often than offenders without psychiatric disorders who are disposed for similar offenses. H4: Female juvenile offenders with a diagnosed psychiatric disorder are disposed to a residential setting at a higher rate for lesser offenses than their male counterparts. H5: Factors resulting in residential placement differ for females and males. Analyses Because this study intends to not only evaluate the ratio of differences between the pathway that male and female offenders take to, and through, the juvenile justice system, but also to apply predictive modeling to the factors that determine the pathway, logistic regression analysis will be utilized for each hypothesis except H2. Binary logistic regression analysis allows one to predict a discrete outcome (dependent or outcome variables) from a set of variables that may be continuous, discrete, dichotomous, or a mix of any of these (independent or predictor variables). Generally, the dependent or response variable is dichotomous. Discriminate analysis is also sometimes used to predict an

52 outcome with only two groups. However, discriminate analysis can only be used with continuous predictor variables. Thus, in instances where the predictor variables are categorical, or a mix of continuous and categorical, or the variables are dichotomous (i.e. converted to a binary format), logistic regression is preferred. Therefore, for H1, H3, H4, and H5, logistic regression will be used for predictive modeling. The test for H2 will rely on bivariate tests such as t-test and chi-square. H4 will require the inclusion of the interaction term, ³mental health by gender´. H5 will require separate female and male models, with a test for differences between coefficients of the two models. The formula suggested by Paternoster, Mazerolle, and Piquero (1998) will be used to test for differences between model coefficients by gender:      

To examine the potential multicollinearity among the different control and predictor variables, an examination of the simple correlations among the predictor variables will be conducted with specific emphasis on mental health need, gender, and level of offense. This inter-correlational analysis will be conducted using Spearman¶s Rho or Kendall's rank correlation. Although Spearman's Rho can test the independence between two variables when evaluating a null hypothesis, it is not as strong of a test when the null hypothesis is rejected (Myers, 1990). Because of the possibility of a bidirectional outcome and the use of a two-tailed test, Kendall's rank correlation has greater statistical power. Further robustness checks will be performed to assess the potential for, and to correct if necessary, the influence of missing cases, small cell size, county-level effects, and selection bias that could result from successive stages of case processing.

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