[Skip to Navigation]
February 1981

Medical Histories of Female Delinquents: Clinical and Epidemiologic Findings

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical Center, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(2):211-213. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780270097013

• The medical histories (based on hospital records) of matched samples of nonincarcerated delinquent girls, incarcerated delinquent girls, and nondelinquent girls were compared. Numbers of visits, timings of visits, services used, and reasons for hospital contacts were compared for the three groups. Delinquent girls in general had significantly more adverse medical histories than nondelinquent girls; they made significantly more hospital visits and had significantly more accidents and injuries through age 21 years. Perinatal difficulties did not distinguish these two groups. Although incarcerated and nonincarcerated delinquent girls made similar numbers of hospital visits, their histories differed qualitatively. Accidents and injuries, head and face injuries, perinatal difficulties, neurologic abnormalities, and child abuse were found more frequently in the histories of incarcerated girls. These findings have etiologic importance to the development of seriously delinquent behav ior.