Exploring sex differences among sentenced juvenile offenders in Australia

Robin Fitzgerald, Paul Mazerolle, Alex R. Piquero, Donna L. Ansara

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research applying latent class analysis (LCA) reveals considerable diversity in the self-reported offending patterns of incarcerated females and suggests that a failure to recognize these patterns will hinder the ability to understand mechanisms that lead females to serious offending. Using data from a cohort of serious juvenile offenders in Queensland, Australia, this paper extends the earlier research by using LCA to assess sex differences in juvenile criminal offending. Results indicate that female offenders are not a homogenous group with respect to their offending patterns, that there is a degree of symmetry between male and female offenders, and that childhood experiences of maltreatment increase the likelihood of membership in the most serious offending group for both males and females. Implications for theory and policy as well as directions for future research are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-447
Number of pages28
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Australian
  • child maltreatment
  • child protection
  • juvenile offenders
  • latent class analysis
  • sex differences

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