ERIC Number: ED408010
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Dec
The Relationship between Childhood Maltreatment and Adolescent Involvement in Delinquency. Working Paper No. 17.
Smith, Carolyn A.; Thornberry, Terence P.
This study used data from the Rochester Youth Development Study to examine linkages between childhood maltreatment and later delinquency. Three central issues were addressed: (1) the magnitude of the relationship between early child maltreatment and later official and self-reported delinquency; (2) the possibility of spuriousness in this relationship; and (3) the impact of more extensive measurement of maltreatment on later delinquency. The final sample was comprised of 1,000 students attending seventh or eighth grade in 1988 and their primary caretakers, with males and students from high crime areas overrepresented. Data were collected through separate interviews with adolescents and caretakers. The child maltreatment measure was based on information from Child Protective Services records. Five indicators of maltreatment were used, prevalence and frequency of maltreatment, duration, number of types of maltreatment, and total severity score. Outcome measures included official measures of number of police contacts as a juvenile or arrests as an adult and self-report of delinquency from eighth through twelfth grades. Delinquency indices were general, serious, moderate, minor, and violent delinquency. Results revealed a significant relationship between child maltreatment occurring before age 12 and subsequent self-reported and official delinquency and the relationship, especially for more serious forms of delinquency, remained when controlling for other factors such as race/ethnicity, sex, underclass status, and family structure. The results also suggested that more extensive maltreatment is related to higher rates of delinquency. Appendices provide exemplars of levels of abuse severity and the delinquency scales. (Four tables delineate findings. Contains 65 references.) (AA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquent Prevention (Dept. of Justice), Washington, DC.; National Inst. on Drug Abuse (DHHS/PHS), Rockville, MD.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: New York State Univ. System, Albany.