Adjudicated girls and therir mothers
Register, Mark David
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Research on girls involved in the juvenile justice system is limited, but growing. A recurrent complaint made by those doing the research on girls is that past studies on juvenile justice focused almost exclusively on boys; subsequently, girls? voices and experiences were not appreciated and they were made to fit intervention models designed for boys. Literature on girls? development in general has also been growing in the last twenty years and it points to the unique interpersonal and cultural challenges girls must overcome in order to survive adolescence. As adolescent relationships are complicated for girls, a supportive relationship with their mothers, among other people, is conducive to traversing adolescence successfully. Although there are growing accounts of girls committing violent acts, the majority of girls become involved with juvenile justice because of status offenses, which, when traced, often relate to discord in their primary relationships. The present study explores the perceptions of mothers and their adjudicated adolescent daughters on internalizing and externalizing behavior. After first testing for equal or unequal variance in means, the statistical method employed here was a t-test to assess differences in means for mothers? and daughters? endorsements of internalizing and externalizing composites. Both parties endorsed their observations on the child and parent forms of the Behavior Assessment System for Children. Results offer that across age, race, and community, mothers perceive their daughters? internalizing and externalizing problems as more severe than do the daughters. Implications of these results are offered as well as recommendations for extending the research.