African American Female Adjudicated Delinquents And The Predictive Influence Of Spirituality And Quality Of Family Relationships
MetadataShow full item record
Type of WorkText
ProgramDoctor of Philosophy
RightsThis item is made available by Morgan State University for personal, educational, and research purposes in accordance with Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Other uses may require permission from the copyright owner.
Juvenile delinquency has not improved despite reports of decreases in juvenile arrest rates. Juveniles are being arrested, charged, and adjudicated for murder, rape, robbery, assault, arson, drug abuse, prostitution, vandalism, destruction of property, and other index crimes and status offenses. The prevalence of delinquent behaviors and the magnitude of the crimes being committed by females have expanded greatly and delinquency in female adolescents has not decreased in more than 25 years. An additional concern regarding juvenile delinquency is the disproportionate rate of minorities that account for juvenile arrest rates. Black youth were involved in more than half of violent crimes that were committed in 2008. Considering the significance of family relationships and spirituality among African Americans, this study aimed to identify predictors of patterns of juvenile delinquency in African American female adolescents. The variables of interest included aspects of family relationships--maternal/paternal attachment, warmth, communication, overall relationship satisfaction, parental structure, personal spirituality and parental spirituality. Data was collected from a sample of 89 African American females between 11 and 19 years of age. Youth were recruited from various entities within a local Department of Juvenile Services. All of the participants had at least one adjudication on their record within the department of juvenile services. The quality of the maternal relationship was found to be significantly associated with patterns of delinquency to include self-reported delinquency onset and severity of delinquency. In examining the influence of the paternal relationship on patterns of delinquency, no significant relationships were observed in this current study. Parental structure was found to be a significant predictor of patterns of juvenile delinquency in this sample of African American female adolescents. Although the participants included in this current study reported frequent spiritual experiences, personal spirituality was not found to be a significant predictor of any measure of delinquency.