Gender, Child Maltreatment, and Delinquency


Prior research and theorizing have suggested that the relationship between child maltreatment and delinquent outcomes is gendered. However, research to date that has sought to test this hypothesis has been incomplete due to issues such as inconsistency in findings, focusing on a single type of maltreatment or delinquent outcome within a given study, and an overreliance on nonprobability samples. The authors sought to expand on this literature by examining the effects of several different types of child maltreatment on six different delinquent behaviors during middle adolescence in a nationally representative probability sample of American adolescents. Results suggest that in the case of physical abuse and alcohol use, child maltreatment shapes delinquent behaviors differently for girls and boys, with several other types of delinquent behaviors being similarly shaped by child maltreatment among girls and boys. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Publication Title

Victims and Offenders