Child maltreatment victimization by type in relation to criminal recidivism in juvenile offenders

C.E. van der Put*, C. de Ruiter

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: This study aimed to examine the relation between different types of child abuse victimization and criminal recidivism among juvenile offenders. Method: Secondary analyses were conducted on data collected with the Washington State Juvenile Court Assessment and general recidivism. The sample consisted of female (n = 3502) and male (n = 10,111) juvenile offenders. Results: For male juvenile offenders, neglect and physical abuse victimization were significantly but rather weakly associated with both general and violent recidivism. For female juvenile offenders, neglect and physical abuse were weakly associated with general recidivism, but not with violent recidivism. Sexual abuse was not related to either general or violent recidivism in both male and female juvenile offenders. Most associations between dynamic (treatable) risk domains and recidivism were stronger in male juvenile offenders than in female juvenile offenders. In addition, most risk domains were more strongly related to general recidivism than to violent felony recidivism. For male juvenile offenders, neglect victimization was uniquely related to general recidivism whereas physical abuse victimization was uniquely related to violent recidivism, over and above dynamic risk factors for recidivism. For female juvenile offenders none of the maltreatment variables were uniquely related to general or violent felony recidivism. Conclusions: Childhood experiences of neglect and physical abuse predict reoffending in male juvenile offenders, pointing at a possible need to address these in risk management interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2016


  • Types of child maltreatment
  • Criminal recidivism
  • Juvenile offenders
  • Gender differences
  • Risk factors
  • RISK

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