Research on children's and adolescents' access to guns, in particular handguns, and whether that access influences attitudes toward or fear of crime;
Research on ways to increase children's and adolescents' protective factors; and
Research on the development of physical aggression regulation in early childhood.
Research on delinquency has traditionally focused on boys. Although boys are more likely to be arrested than girls, the rate of increase in arrest and incarceration has been much larger in recent years for girls than boys, and the seriousness of the crimes committed by girls has increased.
Recommendation: The Department of Justice should develop and fund a systematic research program on female juvenile offending. At a minimum, this program should include:
Research on etiology, life course, and societal consequences of female juvenile offending;
Research on the role of childhood experiences, neighborhoods and communities, and family and individual characteristics that lead young females into crime; and
Research on the role of psychiatric disorders in the etiology of female juvenile crime, as well as its role as a consequence of crime or the justice system's response.