Understanding the Link Between Childhood Maltreatment and Violent Delinquency: What Do Schools Have to Add?

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Child Maltreatment (Impact Factor: 2.77). 09/2007; 12(3):269-80. DOI: 10.1177/1077559507301843
Source: PubMed


Child maltreatment constitutes significant risk for adolescent delinquency. Although an ecological model has been proposed to explain this relationship, most studies focus on individual risk factors. Prospective data from 1,788 students attending 23 schools were used to examine the additive influence of childhood maltreatment, individual-level risk factors, and school-level variables assessed at the beginning of Grade 9 on delinquency 4 to 6 months later. Individual-level results indicated that being male, experiencing childhood maltreatment, and poor parental nurturing were predictors of violent delinquency. School climate also played a significant role: Given the same individual risk profile, a student attending a school that was perceived by students as safe was less likely to engage in violent delinquency than was a student attending a school perceived to be unsafe. Moreover, the impact of childhood maltreatment on risk for engaging in violent delinquency was somewhat mitigated by schools' participation in a comprehensive violence prevention program.

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Available from: Claire V Crooks
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    • "Notably, these circumstances are transactional wherein the poorly regulated child behaviors may be met with neglectful, punitive, or inconsistent parenting, which in turn further disrupts neurological functioning (Duke et al. 2010; Granic and Lamey 2002; Granic and Patterson 2006; Lynch and Cicchetti 1998). The effect of maltreatment on delinquency appears cumulative, as youth who experience multiple forms of maltreatment are at the greatest risk of violence and delinquency (Bender 2010; see Crooks et al. 2007; Currie and Tekin 2006; Mersky and Reynolds 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although research has oft-documented a maltreatment-delinquency link, the effect of involvement in-and timing of-child welfare system involvement on offending has received less attention. We examine whether the timing of child welfare involvement has differential effects on recidivism of deep-end juvenile offenders (youth who have been adjudicated delinquent by the court and placed in juvenile justice residential programs). The current study uses a large, diverse sample of 12,955 youth completing juvenile justice residential programs between 1 January 2010 and 30 June 2013 in Florida (13 % female, 55 % Black, 11 % Hispanic). Additionally, we explore the direct effects of childhood traumatic events on delinquency, as well as their indirect effects through child welfare involvement using structural equation modeling. The findings indicate that adverse childhood experiences fail to exert a direct effect on recidivism, but do exhibit a significant indirect effect on recidivism through child welfare involvement, which is itself associated with recidivism. This means that while having exposures to more types of childhood traumatic events does not, in and of itself, increase the likelihood of re-offending, effects of such experiences operate through child welfare placement. Differences in the effects of maltreatment timing and of adverse childhood experiences are observed across sex and race/ethnicity subgroups. Across all racial subgroups, exposures to adverse childhood experiences have a significant effect on the likelihood of child welfare placement, yet child welfare placement exerts a significant effect on recidivism for White and Hispanic youth, but not for Black youth. Only Hispanic female and White male youth with overlapping child welfare and juvenile justice cases (open cases in both systems at the same time during the study period) were more likely to recidivate than their delinquent-only counterpart youth. Crossover status (child welfare and juvenile justice involvement, whether prior or open cases) was essentially irrelevant with respect to the re-offending of Black youth completing juvenile justice residential programs. The findings indicate the effects of exposure to adverse childhood experiences, and child welfare system and juvenile justice system involvement on re-offending are not uniform across subgroups of youth but that earlier child welfare involvement is more detrimental than concurrent child welfare system involvement when it does matter.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Youth and Adolescence
    • "The child does not feel important or special and appraises the familiar environment as lacking support. At the same time, the child fails to develop trust in parents, peers, or authority figures (De Bellis, 2005) and develops a cognitive distortion for perceived threats and hostile attribution for the behavior of others (Lee & Hoaken, 2007), including the perception of school as insecure (Crooks, Scott, Wolfe, Chiodo, & Killip, 2007). This situation is in contrast to the positive perception of emotional support from parents that is negatively associated with antisocial behavior in adolescence (Veenstra, Lindenberg, Oldehinkel, De Winter, & Ormel, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: The literature has shown that delinquent adolescents report high rates of childhood adversity and family dysfunction. However, it is important to know both the degree of adversity among delinquent adolescents in comparison with other high-risk samples and the contribution of each single form of adversity to this comparison. The purpose of this study was to evaluate childhood adversity, psychopathology, and risk behaviors among 4 high-risk groups, including incarcerated delinquent youths. The participants were 120 male youths between 13 and 19 years old (M = 16.18, SD = 1.26), including 30 youths who were arrested and held in detention centers as a consequence of violent crimes; 30 youths who were identified by Child Protective Services (CPS) and remained with their families; 30 youths who were identified by CPS, removed from their homes, and placed in child and youth residential care; and 30 youths who were randomly selected from schools. The incarcerated youths reported significantly more adversity, global psychopathology, and global index of risk behaviors. When considering each risk behavior, the incarcerated youths reported higher percentages of alcohol abuse, drug use, early smoking initiation, physical assault, carrying weapons, early initiation of sexual intercourse, sexual intercourse under the influence of drugs, and sexual intercourse without condom use. The logistic regression analyses showed that only emotional neglect was significantly associated with delinquency. This study suggests that delinquent youths are exposed to a great magnitude of adversities in childhood, with emotional neglect as an independent risk factor for delinquency. In addition, these youths have higher rates of psychopathology and risk behaviors compared to other high-risk samples.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Violence and Victims
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    • "Similarly , both Benbenishty et al. (2002) and Dunn (2001) added variables to their versions. Bosworth, Espelage, and Simon (1999) chose only four of the 20 original items of the PSSM focusing on a sense of belonging to one's school, while Crooks et al. (2007) chose 18 thereby broadening the scope of school climate to youth's perceived feelings of acceptance, inclusion, respect and encouragement for participation at school. Others, like Cushing, Horner, and Barrier (2003) drop subscales from the SCS due to low validity scores. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: School climate is a heterogeneous concept with a multitude of standardised and validated instruments available to measure it. Purpose: This overview of measurement scales aims to provide researchers with short summaries of some of the self-report instruments in existence, especially in relation to the link between school climate and aggression, within the context of Bronfenbrenner’s model. A secondary aim of this article is to show how the same instrument can sometimes be adapted to fit different theoretical approaches or to focus on different dimensions of school climate. Design and methods: After database consultation and literature hand searching, the resulting literature was screened for a statistical analysis of school climate and aggression. Those studies that had unclear operationalisations of the main variables or used qualitative methods were excluded. The resulting selection of studies were further scanned for common instruments used to evaluate school climate. Conclusions: This article will show how the California School Climate Survey (CSCS), the Psychological Sense of School Membership Scale (PSSM), the School Climate Survey (SCS) and the Effective School Battery (ESB) as well as different versions of self-created scales on school connectedness, school climate and school culture have been adapted by different researchers in different contexts. Finally, the necessity of adapting a pre-existing instrument or creating a new one will be discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Educational Research
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