Child maltreatment is a pervasive social problem affecting millions of children and their families every year. While past research has documented the short and long-term deleterious outcomes of abused and neglected children, variations in outcomes based on type of maltreatment, race/ethnicity, and gender are not well understood.
This study explored the interrelationships of these variables on youths’ school engagement and juvenile criminal offending in a large, diverse sample followed prospectively from the time of maltreatment until youths’ sixteenth birthday. Results indicated that maltreated boys were 2.7 – 3.5 times more likely than non-maltreated boys to exhibit poor school engagement (odds ratios = 3.7 – 5.3), and maltreated girls were 3.4 – 4.2 times more likely than non-maltreated girls (odds ratios = 5.3 – 6.9).
The increased risk was even greater in relation to juvenile offending. Maltreated boys were 3.3 – 9.2 times more likely to have committed a misdemeanor, felony, or violent felony by the age of 16 (odds ratios = 4.5 – 9.4), and maltreated girls were 3.8 – 12.0 times more likely(odds ratios = 4.4 – 11.7). With respect to race/ethnicity, American Indian, Black, and Hispanic boys and girls tended to have poorer outcomes than Asian and White youths regardless of maltreatment status. Regarding type of abuse, physical abuse was related to suspensions/expulsions and criminal offending for both genders. However, sexual abuse among boys had the strongest relationship to violent felony offending with a rate 17.6 times higher than non-maltreated boys (8.8% vs .5%, OR = 9.5), and significantly higher than physically abused or neglected boys.
find full article here: