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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Branching out : exploring the stories of female youth in custody Sammartino, Stephanie Michelle


Female youth in custody are a marginalized population. The majority of research on the topic of risk factors for female youth in custody is quantitative in nature. There has been a lack of opportunity for female youth in custody to tell their own stories in their own words within a research setting. The primary research question was: What are the stories of female youth in custody? This research question was approached through a post-modernist perspective and used a social constructionist epistemology. A narrative methodology was employed. Participants completed a timeline of life events during a pre-interview, and the timeline was used as an elicitation device during the interview. The interviews were transcribed using Mikel Brown and Gilligan’s (1992) Listener’s Guide. The participants were asked to check their transcribed interviews for completeness and accuracy. The transcribed interviews were analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) Thematic Analysis Method. Within this method, the findings were coded and seven themes were identified. The themes included: Family Life, Peer Relationships, School Experiences, Substance Use/Mental Health, Childhood Trauma, Misbehaviour/Criminality, and Future Plans. The findings of the research study have provided invaluable information for future prevention efforts for at-risk children. The findings have also helped to inform counselling psychology practice for the population of female youth in custody.

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