Graduation Date: May, 2004
Degree: Sociology / Criminology
Faculty Mentor: Roy Barnett, Ph.D.
McNair Research: "The Increase of Female Criminality and Its Relationship to Abuse"
The general aim of this research was to determine why there has been such a sharp increase in the number of violent female offenders. According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the number of children who were victims of maltreatment between 1990 and 1994 increased twenty-seven percent. Other research sponsored by the NIJ found that the odds of future delinquency for a female child rose by 77 percent when they had experienced childhood neglect or abuse.
Since the dramatic increase in female offenders is paralleled by an even greater increase of family violence, one can hypothesize that the increase of female offenders is directly related to the increase of family violence.
Using a survey conducted by Dr. Roy Barnett of 776 college students from three Universities in Oklahoma, I discovered that individuals who were maltreated were also more likely to report having been recently depressed, to having hurt someone badly enough to need bandages or a doctor, having stole something worth more than $50, and having used illegal drugs.
Basically, the survey shows that females who are maltreated have higher levels of criminal activity and depression than females who have not experienced maltreatment. Since this survey was conducted across three different universities the chances of sectional treads is quite low. Also, traditional type factors of influence on their delinquency was limited by the fact that over 75% of the surveyed population was white, 76% grew up with two parents, and 80% of those families making 30,000 or more annually.