Effects of Child Abuse on Juvenile Delinquency

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The Effects of Child Abuse on Juvenile Delinquency
Tyshenia Gavin
Virginia State University
Dr. Hodgson

Abstract
This literature review explores existing literature and scholarship that outlines the effects of early child abuse (2-8 years old) on future acts of delinquency. Literature suggests that a correlation exists between the effects of child abuse and delinquency. Common problematic behaviors are socialization changes and learning abilities from early childhood to adolescence. Studies indicated correlations along with social theories such as the Social Control Theory which is dominant in explaining the relevance of these correlations. Researchers have developed programs such as early intervention and prevention programs to prevent child abuse and neglect since they are risk factors for the development of juvenile delinquency.

Table of Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................... Page 4 Thesis/Methodology ..........................................................................................Page 6 Literature Review............................................................................................. Page 7

................................................ Page15 Intervention Programs....................................................................................... Page 17 Conclusion........................................................................................................ Page 19 References........................................................................................................ Page 21

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Child Abuse is the physical, sexual, and emotional mistreatment or/and neglect of a child. They also define Child Maltreatment as any act of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential harm, or threat of harm to a child. A Juvenile Delinquent is a child or young person not of legal age who is guilty of some offense, act of vandalism, or antisocial behavior or whose conduct is beyond parental control and who may be brought before a juvenile court (Collins English Dictionary). The criminal justice system focuses on policing and tougher sanctions but doesn’t address the cause of deviant behavior. Many juvenile cases involving criminal behavior has been linked to events of abuse occurring in early childhood. This paper focuses on the effects of child abuse on crime, specifically juvenile delinquency. Child Abuse is a major social problem, being abused doubles the probability of engaging in criminal behavior.

Many cases of juvenile delinquency have been linked to child abuse, showing a significant correlation between the two. According to the U.S Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2003), a range of factors effect juvenile delinquency, these factors include exposure to violence, poor education opportunities and employment prospects, and childhood abuse and neglect. A database of cases verified by Protective Service Agencies, reported over 91,000 cases of neglect from October 2005 to September 2006. It also found that child neglect and child abuse wee far more common in single -parent families than in families were both parents are present.

The Rochester Youth Development Study, Smith and Thornberry (1995) compared official records to youths’ self -reports. Even though it was differences in geographic regions and time periods, findings from youth study still concluded a significant relationship between child maltreatment and delinquency. “In General, people who experience any type of maltreatment in childhood, are more likely than people who were not maltreated to be arrested later in life” (John Tuell, 2003). There is a...
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