Examining the Link between Traumatic Events and Delinquency among Juvenile Delinquent Girls: A Longitudinal Study



Mary C. Marsiglio, Krista M. Chronister, Brandon Gibson, Leslie D. Leve

Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

December 2014






Researchers have postulated associations between childhood trauma and delinquency, but few have examined the direction of these relationships prospectively and, specifically, with samples of delinquent girls. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between traumatic events and delinquency for girls in the juvenile justice system using a cross-lagged model. Developmental differences in associations as a function of high school entry status were also examined. The sample included 166 girls in the juvenile justice system who were mandated to community-based out-of-home care due to chronic delinquency. Overall, study results provide evidence that trauma and delinquency risk pathways vary according to high school entry status. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.





Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee