Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William Drew Gouvier


The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether factors known to predict recidivism and future misbehavior are useful in predicting behavior of offenders while incarcerated. This study examined the population of all incarcerated and recently released female juvenile offenders in Louisiana (n = 211). Predictive equations were developed based on demographic, offense-related, and psychological test variables including: age, race, age at first offense, number of prior offenses, history of a violent offense, history of physical abuse, history of sexual abuse, history of alcohol abuse, history of drug abuse, IQ, and Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) Reading Comprehension and Total Math scores. The design of the study was longitudinal, examining behavior over the first four annual quarters of incarceration. Predictive equations were developed for both number of disciplinary reports (tickets) and number of disciplinary reports weighted by severity. Weighting of disciplinary tickets was not important to predictive equations, as tickets and weighted tickets were highly correlated. Reading Comprehension was consistently the best predictor of disciplinary tickets. Results are discussed in light of recent theoretical models, stressing the timing and severity of juvenile offenders' behaviors. Specific recommendations are made for interventions with incarcerated juvenile offenders. Over time the database compiled in the course of this investigation will be potentially helpful in monitoring rates of and variables associated with behavior during incarceration, and perhaps also with recidivism in this population.