ERIC Number: ED451313
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
An Update on the "Cycle of Violence." Research in Brief.
Widom, Cathy S.; Maxfield, Michael G.
This brief updates a longitudinal study comparing the arrest records of abused and neglected children with arrest records of non-abused or neglected children. Subjects included 908 substantiated cases of childhood abuse or neglect processed by the courts from 1967-71 who were matched by sex, age, race, and family socioeconomic status with 667 children not officially deemed abused or neglected. Initial results were gathered in 1988, when the average age of subjects was 26 years. Findings showed that childhood abuse and neglect increased the odds of future delinquency and adult criminality by 29 percent. The updated results were based on additional arrest data gathered from 1994, with subjects ranging in age from 18-40 years. Results documented the persistence of the relationship in demonstrable long-term consequences for criminal behavior. Poor educational performance, mental health problems, and low achievement levels also characterized victims of early childhood abuse and neglect. Though earlier results indicated that most abused and neglected children did not become offenders, this study found that almost half of abused and neglected individuals had an arrest for a nontraffic offense. For some subgroups (blacks and abused and neglected males), almost two-thirds had been arrested as juveniles or adults. (SM)
Descriptors: Blacks, Child Abuse, Child Neglect, Crime, Delinquency, Males, Racial Differences, Sex Differences, Violence
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, Washington, DC 20531; Web site: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (DHHS), Rockville, MD.; National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: Department of Justice, Washington, DC. National Inst. of Justice.