ERIC Number: ED416285
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Childhood Victimization and Risk for Alcohol and Drug Arrests. Research Preview.
Ireland, Timothy; Widom, Cathy Spatz
Using data from a large project on child abuse and neglect as predictors of violent criminal behavior, researchers investigated the connection between childhood maltreatment and later arrest for alcohol and drug-related offenses. After controlling for age, gender, and race, child maltreatment was found to be a significant predictor of delinquency. However, the relationship between childhood victimization and juvenile arrests for alcohol or drugs was not significant. Only one variable--gender--influenced the juvenile arrest rate for alcohol or drugs. Males were more than 10 times as likely to be arrested for these offenses as females prior to age 18. After controlling for demographic characteristics and juvenile contact with the criminal justice system, childhood abuse or neglect was found to be a statistically significant predictor of having at least one alcohol- or drug-related arrest in adulthood. An indirect path between childhood victimization and adult substance abuse arrest was also demonstrated. Abused or neglected females were more likely to have alcohol or drug arrests as adults, but no differences were found for male victims and controls. Being abused or neglected increased the probability of arrest for alcohol or drugs in adulthood for whites, but not for blacks. More research is needed for further analysis of the relationship between childhood maltreatment and later arrest for substance abuse, but intervention efforts should recognize possible increased risks. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Indiana Univ., Bloomington.
Authoring Institution: Department of Justice, Washington, DC. National Inst. of Justice.