Child abuse, self-control, and delinquency: A general strain perspective


Purpose: This study examined the independent effects of child abuse on self-control and delinquency and explored whether self-control mediates the child abuse-delinquency relationship. Methods: We employed path modeling in Mplus to examine the relationship between child abuse, self-control, and delinquency using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Results: Net of theoretically important controls, child abuse has direct and indirect effects on delinquency, and the relationship is partially explained by low self-control. Conclusions: Child abuse has an independent influence on levels of self-control, supporting a proposition made by general strain theory, and self-control partially mediates the oft-observed relationship between child abuse and delinquency.

Publication Title

Journal of Criminal Justice