Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

Alexis Kennedy

Second Committee Member

Randall G. Shelden

Third Committee Member

William Sousa

Fourth Committee Member

Katherine Hertlein

Number of Pages



Girls in gangs have been around since society recognized that there was a gang issue and although there has been an increase in attention paid to gangs in the last few decades, there has been relatively little attention paid to the girls in these gangs. It has only been recently that research has been conducted to explore the reasons behind girls joining gangs and their roles in the gang setting. Generally though, the research on girls in gangs has either been middle school surveys or qualitative studies of girls already in gangs. This research pulled from a population of delinquent girls and separated the groups as follows: girls who self reported gang involvement and delinquent girls that did not report involvement in a gang. This research sought to explore the differences in characteristics between the two groups regarding high risk behaviors such as general and sexual health challenges, education, rates of delinquency (especially prostitution) and other variables. The ultimate goal was to discover factors that predict gang membership rather than predict general delinquency.


Delinquency; Female gang members; Female gangs; Gang Membership; Gangs; Girls in Gangs; Juvenile delinquency; Risk Factors; Youth Gangs


Criminology | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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