Maltreated children who are adjudicated delinquent: An at-risk profile
Keywords:maltreatment, delinquency, prediction, prevention
Children who are victims of maltreatment are at greater risk for later delinquency. While this connection is complicated, between 40 and 60 percent of all adjudicated delinquent youth have a maltreatment history. This paper examines this link and presents a delinquency profile for a population of victimized children in one Midwest county in the United States. This study utilized one population of maltreated youth (N = 9.942), comparing one group who were adjudicated delinquent (n = 2.090) and the second group who were not (n = 7.852). Bivariate tests identified the following risk factors that were significantly related to later youth delinquency adjudication: a child having first contact with the children's services agency after age eight; a child having more than one maltreatment referral or more than one maltreatment type; being a victim of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect; having a maltreatment perpetrator who was the child's biological mother; being placed out of the home by children's services; and being adopted. Child welfare research, practice, and policy implications are set forth. Note: Erratum in IJCFW 2010 3-4: On the PDF the name of the second author of the article 'Maltreated children who are adjudicated delinquent: An at-risk profile’ was inadvertently omitted. The name of Patricia Stoddard Dare is added in the revised version.