Age of Crime Onset and Psychopathic Traits in Female Juvenile Delinquents




Pedro Pechorro, Rui Abrunhosa Gonçalves, João Marôco, Cristina Nunes, Saul Neves Jesus

International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

September 2014





The aim of this study was to analyze the role of psychopathic traits in the age of crime onset of female juvenile delinquents. Using a sample of 132 young females from the Juvenile Detention Centers of the Portuguese Ministry of Justice and from schools in the Lisbon region, a group of early crime onset (n = 44), a group of late crime onset (n = 44), and a nondelinquent school group (n = 44) were formed. Results showed that early crime onset participants score higher on psychopathy measures, self-reported delinquency, and crime seriousness than late crime onset participants and school participants. Psychopathic-traits scores were significantly associated with age of crime onset, age at first trouble with the law, and frequency and seriousness of crime.








Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee