Individuals victimized by child abuse and neglect are more likely than people who were not maltreated to engage in juvenile delinquency, adult criminality, and violent behavior. However, while the risk is higher, most abused and neglected children will not become delinquent, experience adolescent problem behaviors, or become involved in violent crime.
Addressing the Relationship Between Child Maltreatment and Juvenile Delinquency
Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Children's Bureau Express, 5(3), 2004
Presents evidence on the connection between child maltreatment and juvenile delinquency.
Another Look at the Effects of Child Abuse (PDF - 91 KB)
English, Widom, & Brandford
National Institute of Justice Journal, 251, 2004
Discusses a research study on the relationship between child abuse and neglect and delinquency, criminality, and violent behavior.
Assessing Risk of Future Delinquency Among Children Receiving Child Protection Services (PDF - 527 KB)
Bogie, Johnson, Ereth, & Scharenbroch (2011)
Describes a study conducted by the Children's Research Center to identify risk factors for subsequent delinquency of children with open child protective services (CPS) cases and to construct a screening assessment that classifies children with open CPS cases by the likelihood of future delinquency.
Child Protection and Adult Crime: Using Investigator Assignment to Estimate Causal Effects of Foster Care (PDF - 156 KB)
Doyle, Joseph J.
Journal of Political Economy, 116(4), 2008
Uses data from Illinois to examine the impact of foster care on adult arrests and criminal activity.
Does Child Abuse Cause Crime?
Currie & Tekin (2006)
Measures the effects of maltreatment on crime using national data. Results showed that gender, socioeconomic status, amount of maltreatment are related to the effects of maltreatment.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
Supports national, State, and local efforts to reduce crime and violence by preventing child abuse and neglect. The resources cite numerous research studies on the link between child abuse and neglect and adult criminal behavior.