Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Doreen Elliott


The study was designed to examine the ability of social bonding and abuse variables in explaining the phenomena of female delinquency. An existing data source, the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, provided information-rich data regarding female delinquents from nine primary sampling units located in the North American mid-west. The data was collected from a total of 5,501 youth between 1999 and 2002. A total of 2,587 females participated in the study, and 280 female delinquents (n=280) from wave 1 were studied in this analysis. The purpose of the study was to examine the theoretical frameworks of girls' survival theory and social bonding, to ascertain effectiveness in the prediction of female delinquency, and to determine how much of the variance in the dependent variable, delinquency, could be explained using abuse and social bonding variables. It was hypothesized that variables associated with girls' survival theory taken from feminist theory and social bonding theory would be significant predictors for violent female delinquency. The data utilized for analysis consists of data originally collected for the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), by the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. Data was collected in five waves dating from 1999 to 2007. Wave 1 data was analyzed using multiple regression to ascertain which variables explained the variance in female delinquency attributed to Girls' Surviving theory, and Social Bonding theory. Four hypotheses were tested using linear regression analysis. The major findings of this study conclude that physical abuse and trauma have a significant impact on female delinquency. However, there appears to be an inverse relationship present within the trauma domain. The agents of social bonding were not significant in the analysis of female delinquents.


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons