Risks, Strengths, and Recidivism Among Justice-Involved Youth: Investigating Gender Differences and Similarities

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Creator: 

Scott, Terri-Lynne

Date: 

2017

Abstract: 

Though males are involved in more crime than their female counterparts, females are increasingly coming to the attention of the corrections and criminal justice system. To guide the assessment and management of youthful offenders, different theoretical perspectives offer an explanation on the etiology of criminal behaviour for both males and females. The impetus for the current research was to identify important risk and strength factors predictive of criminal recidivism for both male and female justice-involved youth, through a meta-analytic review and an empirical validation of a gender informed risk assessment tool. Overall, this study found evidence in support of the Central Eight for both males and females as gender neutral factors as hypothesized, however preliminary findings emerged at the level of the individual indicators providing evidence for gender saliency (predictive for both genders but stronger in one) and gender specificity (predictive for one gender only) in the prediction of general and violent recidivism. Thus, accepting gender similarities at the domain level of risk and strengths and failing to accept that there are gender differences at the level of individual indicators will result in inaccurate assessments and missed opportunities to improve youths’ lives. The strength of the methodologies for both studies was the inclusion of a male comparison group to enable gender comparisons and make recommendations for the evidence of gender specificity and gender saliency, a limitation of previous meta-analytic and quantitative work. The findings of these studies contribute to the support of a gender informed theory of crime and have important implications for practice to take gender differences into account, beyond responsivity, to allow for the development of appropriate intervention strategies that are streamlined and targeted to make the best use of resources.

Subject: 

Psychology - Behavioral

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Doctor of Philosophy: 
Ph.D.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Doctoral

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Psychology

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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