Are the correlates and effects of gang membership sex-specific? Troublesome youth groups and delinquency among Dutch girls

Frank M. Weerman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Criminological attention toward girls in gangs has increased substantially in the past few decades, but studies outside the United States on sex differences with regard to gangs are still scarce. In this chapter, data from a Dutch survey of 1,830 adolescents are used to investigate membership in troublesome youth groups among girls as compared to boys. The results offer remarkable similarities to many studies that have been conducted on gangs and girls in the United States and to research that has taken place in Europe. A substantial portion of the girls are members of a troublesome youth group according to the Eurogang definition, and these girls are more involved in delinquency than non-gang girls as well as non-gang boys. Sex composition of gangs is related to delinquent behavior, with relatively high levels for girls in gangs with more boys and for boys in gangs with a minority of girls. A number of risk factors for gang membership were similar for boys and girls, but there were also some notable differences. However, for girls as well as for boys, membership had a significant and substantial effect on total delinquency net of other control variables. The chapter ends with a discussion of these findings and a plea for continued research on gangs, delinquency, and sex differences.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYouth Gangs in International Perspective
Subtitle of host publicationResults from the Eurogang Program of Research
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer New York
Pages271-287
Number of pages17
Volume9781461416593
ISBN (Electronic)9781461416593
ISBN (Print)1461416582, 9781461416586
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012. All rights reserved.

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