Individuals victimized by child abuse and neglect are more likely than people who were not maltreated to develop behavior issues, including engaging in juvenile delinquency, adult criminality, and violent behavior. However, while the risk is higher, most abused and neglected children will not become delinquent or involved in violent crime. The following resources help practitioners understand the risks that being maltreated may have on children and youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
Disrupting the Link Between Maltreatment and Delinquency: How School, Family, and Community Factors Can Be Protective
Wilkinson, Lantos, McDaniel, & Winslow (2019)
BMC Public Health, 19
Identifies protective factors that disrupt the connection between child abuse and juvenile delinquency, including school connection, high-quality parental relationships, and neighborhood involvement.
Effects of Child Maltreatment, Cumulative Victimization Experiences, and Proximal Life Stress on Adult Crime and Antisocial Behavioral (PDF - 937 KB)
Herrenkohl, Jung, Lee, & Kim (2017)
National Criminal Justice Reference Service, Office of Justice Programs
Examines the role of chronic victimization, including child maltreatment and exposure to domestic violence, on adult antisocial behavior, criminal behavior, and intimate partner perpetration and victimization. This article also attends to the role of protective factors in buffering against the negative effects of child maltreatment.
Pathways Between Child Maltreatment and Adult Criminal Involvement
National Institute of Justice (2017)
Examines findings that histories of childhood physical and emotional abuse increase the risk of adulthood crime. The research finds that childhood physical and emotional abuse often results in antisocial behavior during childhood and adolescence and in adult relationships with antisocial romantic partners and peers in adulthood, which increase the risk of criminal involvement.
Type of Childhood Maltreatment and the Risk of Criminal Recidivism in Adult Probationers: A Cross-Sectional Study
Kim, Park, & Kim (2016)
BMC Psychiatry, 16
Examines the contributions of specific forms of child maltreatment in predicting future repeated criminal activity.