Delinquent Behavior and Teenage Girls: Causes and Consequences
By the time a child reaches adolescence, she likely knows what type of behavior is expected of her and which behaviors are unacceptable. Yet by design all teenagers misbehave from time to time, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they feel that they need to assert their own independence. And they wish to test the boundaries imposed on them by parents and other authority. This is the right of passage and is perfectly normal.
But there are other times when teens sometimes misbehave because they are experiencing internal distress: anger, frustration, disappointment, anxiety, or hopelessness. There are also teens whose behavior is constantly troubling to others. In these cases, the teen’s behavior is undoubtedly outside the range of what is considered normal and acceptable. Perhaps most alarming is that many of these teenagers show little remorse, guilt, or understanding of the damage and the pain inflicted by their behavior.
Minor offenses may mask serious problems that girls are experiencing. Running away from home and other offenses, such as truancy, are major components of girls’ delinquency. This suggests that although their offense behavior may not appear to be very serious, these girls may be fleeing from serious problems and victimization, which in turn makes them vulnerable to ensuing abuse and engaging in other behaviors that violate the law such as prostitution, and drug or alcohol use.
Exposure to severe or snowballing stressors are strongly associated with risk-taking behavior, including delinquency. Stressors are conditions that provoke strong negative responses and that are seemingly as uncontrollable and unpredictable. These conditions produce changes in the body’s stress responses that disrupt cognitive and emotional processes, thus increasing the likelihood of risky behaviors in vulnerable adolescent girls.
If your daughter is having difficulties with uncontrollable negative behaviors which are disrupting your home, please call Re-Creation Retreat and speak to one of our highly trained family advocates. Call us today at 385-414-8865.