Working With Female Juvenile Delinquents: What Youth Practitioners Need to Know

Joy D. Patton


This article is organized in a way to help youth practitioners recognize the most pertinent issues faced by female juveniles and to provide help in guiding professional interactions, communication and decision-making. The guidelines discussed are suggestions for practice based on an empirical review of the literature. Recent research has identified ten characteristics of female juvenile offenders to consider when working with this population. These areas include: (a) impaired cognitive functioning, (b) low academic achievement, (c) weak language skills, (d) peer relationships, (e) onset of menarche, (f) early sexual experiences, (g) mental illness, (h) victimization (i) low self-esteem and (j) race.

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