Adolescent Female Murderers: Characteristics and Treatment Implications

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21 Scopus citations


This study examines individual and family characteristics of a population of 29 adolescent females charged with homicide or attempted homicide in the juvenile justice system. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the limited knowledge about adolescent females charged with homicide. Data were collected including the MAYSI-2, a risk classification instrument, and social, educational and family histories. Findings include high rates of reported substance use, delinquent peers, early indicators of mental health problems, and limited control and supervision by parents. The most common weapon used was a car and the most common victim was a known person. A comparison was conducted on girls charged with homicide during the commission of another crime or committed during a conflict. The conflict group was found to victimized friends and family significantly more often than the crime group. The crime group showed higher use of alcohol and drugs, used a gun more and had co-offenders at a higher rate. A profile was developed to describe the typical adolescent female homicide offender found in this study. Treatment recommendations and future research were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-496
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • delinquency
  • female juvenile offenders
  • girl offenders
  • homicide
  • juvenile justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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