skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 168017 Find in a Library
Title: Physical Punishment/Maltreatment During Childhood and Adjustment in Young Adulthood
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:21  Issue:7  Dated:(July 1997)  Pages:617-630
Author(s): D M Fergusson; M T Lynskey
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 14
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data were collected over the course of an 18-year longitudinal study of a birth cohort of 1,265 New Zealand children to study the relationships between retrospective reports of physical punishment and maltreatment and adjustment difficulties at 18 years of age.
Abstract: Retrospective reports of exposure to physical punishment and maltreatment were obtained at 18 years of age. The cohort was also assessed on measures of psychosocial adjustment, including juvenile offending, substance abuse, and psychiatric disorders. Young people reporting exposure to harsh or abusive treatment during childhood had elevated rates of juvenile offending, substance abuse, and mental health problems. Subsequent analysis using logistic regression methods, however, showed much of the elevated risk exhibited by this group was explained by social and contextual factors that were associated with patterns of childhood punishment and maltreatment. Nonetheless, even after controlling for confounding factors, those reporting harsh or abusive childhood experiences were at increased risk of violent offending, suicide attempts, being a victim of violence, and alcohol abuse. The study leads to three major conclusions: (1) those exposed to harsh or abusive treatment during childhood constitute an at-risk population for juvenile offending, substance abuse, and mental health problems; (2) much of this elevated risk arises from the social context in which harsh or abusive treatment occurs; and (3) exposure to abuse appears to increase the risk of involvement in violent behavior and alcohol abuse. 41 references and 4 tables
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse; Child victims; Crimes against children; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile drug abusers; Juvenile drug use; Juvenile suicide; Longitudinal studies; New Zealand; Psychological evaluation; Psychological victimization effects; Underage Drinking; Victims in foreign countries; Victims of violent crime; Violent juvenile offenders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.