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NCJ Number: 200155 Find in a Library
Title: Effect of Childhood Maltreatment on Adult Criminality: A Tobit Regression Analysis
Journal: Child Maltreatment  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:May 2003  Pages:129-137
Author(s): Andrew Grogan-Kaylor; Melanie D. Otis
Editor(s): Mark Chaffin
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect
Ithaca, NY 14853
Contract Number: 90-CA-1496
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the Tobit Regression Analysis and its use in exploring the impact of abuse and neglect on the propensity of maltreated individuals to offend as adults.
Abstract: A continuing question in the field of child maltreatment is whether children who are abused and neglected grow up to be adults who are more likely to participate in criminal behavior. Most of the current empirical evidence on this linkage comes from official arrest records, and there is a need to further articulate the link between child maltreatment and adult criminality. This article reports on the results of an analysis, using the Tobit Regression Analysis, of a data set containing information on 667 non-maltreated and 908 maltreated children. The Tobit Regression Analysis is an econometric technique that is appropriate for dealing with the extent to which child maltreatment results in antisocial behavior that may constitute crime. The data set utilized was from a longitudinal study in 1989 on the effect of abuse and neglect in childhood on later criminal behavior, using comparison groups. The data set contained information on the type or types of maltreatment that children experienced; whether children had experienced physical abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse; whether there were other reasons for the original petition to Child Protective Services; and information on a number of demographic characteristics of children. The Tobit analysis revealed that males had more arrests than females, non-Whites had more arrests than Whites, and older children had more arrests than younger children. In addition, it revealed that neglect was a significant predictor of the propensity to be arrested, where physical abuse and sexual abuse were not statistically significant predictors. The results suggest that neglect may be a more important contributor to later antisocial behavior than other forms of child maltreatment. The research demonstrates the utility of using Tobit regression and suggests that it can be applied in other situations where the observed outcome is actually a censored measure of some latent phenomenon and that a study of the disorders of child maltreatment would further illuminate the dynamics of the way in which experiences of child maltreatment have an effect on individuals’ successful adaptation to adulthood. References
Main Term(s): Child abuse as delinquency factor
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse as delinquency factor; Children at risk; Crime Causes; Crime prediction; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Juvenile to adult criminal careers; Neglectful parents; Regression analysis
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