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NCJ Number: 203316 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Crime, Aggression and Delinquency After Sexual Abuse: A Longitudinal Study
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:43  Issue:4  Dated:Autumn 2003  Pages:729-749
Author(s): Heather Y. Swanston; Patrick N. Parkinson; Brian I. O'Toole; Angela M. Plunkett; Sandra Shrimpton; R. Kim Oates
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 21
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This longitudinal study examined whether sexual abuse of juveniles was subsequently related to their delinquency and aggression after controlling for other variables.
Abstract: The study group consisted of 99 sexually abused children aged 4- to 15-years-old who presented to child protection units at 2 children's hospitals in Sydney, Australia, from 1988 to 1990. The index sexual abuse event was categorized according to the seriousness of the offense by legal definitions. Abused children were compared with a nonabused control group of 84 children who were not known to have been sexually abused or developmentally delayed. At the 9-year follow-up, the youth and their nonoffending parents were assessed by using a standardized questionnaire that addressed behavior, life events, and family functioning. The Youth Self Report (Achenback, 1991) was used to assess behavior, with higher scores indicating more behavioral problems. Using four adjustment variables, a history of child sexual abuse predicted self-reported criminal behavior and parents' rating of the youth's aggressiveness. The association between child sexual abuse and self-reported criminal behavior, however, may indicate more about the number and range of offenses than their seriousness. Some of the offenses reported by the youth would not attract the intervention of the authorities or would be dealt with by informal caution. This study concludes that sexual abuse in childhood is a criminogenic factor for both boys and girls, warranting early intervention for victims; however, interventions should be comprehensive in addressing family functioning and other negative life events. 3 tables and 58 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Australia; Child abuse as delinquency factor; Child Sexual Abuse; Female juvenile delinquents; Foreign criminal justice research; Longitudinal studies
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