The PACE study showed that 584 girls or 61. 3 percent of their total cases of girls had been expelled or suspended. 539 of the same group of girls or 56. 6 percent were 2-8 years behind in reading comprehension skills, 583 or 61. 2 percent were unable to compete at grade level vocabulary and lastly, 663 of the girls or 69. 4 percent of all the cases were 2-8 years behind in their Math comprehension. 196 of the girls or 20. 6 percent of the girls had learning disabilities. 1. Pregnancy: Female juvenile delinquents are more likely to have had earlier sexual encounters than non-offenders.
Teenage pregnancy is also a commonality with female juvenile delinquents and would be mostly considered as a determinant factor in future circumstances of poverty and low income and employment opportunities for girls. Numerous cases of teen mothers have reported their subjects to have undergone sexual abuse and rape which may have been the cause of the pregnancy. 576 of the girls in the PACE study or 60. 5 percent of all their cases have had early initiation of sexual activity while 95 of 10 percent of the girls have had a history of pregnancy.
2. Family Instability and Conflict: Girls coming from families that experience chaos at the minimum level and violence and abuse in the maximum are at high risk for becoming offenders. This factor is also connected to poor academic performance, substance abuse and early sexual activity. In Florida, 53 percent of the girls in the juvenile justice system reported that their parents had previously shown them to have drinking and substance problems. 37 percent of the same girls had been abused by a parent.
61 percent of the girls had also perpetrated a crime that was against a family member. The stability of the home is also a consideration in this risk factor. Frequent transfer of home has been seen to have an adverse effect on young girls. 343 of the girls in the PACE study or 36 percent of all the cases handled by the agency showed that there was a transfer of home 3 or more times in the last 5 years. Parents who had histories of substance abuse were also reported in 334 cases or a total of 35.
1 percent of all PACE cases. 22 percent of the girls reported to have been the victim or witnessed domestic violence in the home. Girls who came from families with members who have been incarcerated or detained in correctional facilities also have a higher risk factor for being detained and rehabilitated at an early age themselves (Patino, 2006). Also known as intergenerational incarceration or criminogenic families, this risk factor has been identified to be connected to poor academic performance and other special needs.
(Patino, 2006) This special factor affects both boys and girls and previous studies have shown that youth who witness crime committed in the domestic setting had more psychological problems Coping and responses of girls and boys to strenuous life events and the risk factors presented above in the early years differ greatly and provide basis for stating that a different set of responses are more viable and better suited for girls.
In the face of abuse and various difficult situations, boys have the tendency to express their pain outwardly through similar violent acts and displays of aggression. These displays of aggression and violence often translate into crimes against the family, community and other people. Girls, on the other hand, express their pain inwardly, often resorting to self-blame, self mutilation, eating disorders and substance abuse (Sharp, 2004). These are not as alarming as boys’ rage and violence and are even less apparent, so programs for rehabilitation are wont to overlook them.