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Link between Juvenile Delinquency and Childhood abuse

Delinquency and Childhood Abuse

Research has highlighted a very important link between delinquency and childhood abuse. However, apart from delinquency, childhood abuse has also been linked with several other negative outcomes. People who have experienced childhood abuse are 5 times more likely than those who have not to be ill with PTSD.  The likelihood of being abused again increases with childhood abuse. Apart from it, the chances of drug dependency and crime also increase with it. Childhood abuse leads to an increase in the chances of arrest by 59%. The link between childhood abuse and delinquency has been highlighted through several research studies during the last two decades. Research has shown that due to childhood abuse the chances of criminal behavior can increase. Several times, it has come to light that the male and female juvenile criminals have been found to be abused physically and sexually in their childhood.  

Research has shown that in case of the children who have been abused during their childhood the chances of their falling into the company of criminals increases. They are also more likely to suffer from problems like depression, suicidal behavior and self-destructive behavior. Such children are more likely to become criminals as they grow. Especially, it has been found in the case of the females that  after being abused physically or sexually, they are more likely to turn to criminal or deviant behavior during their  adulthood. Most of the female delinquents are the girls that have suffered sexual abuse during their adolescence. Two reasons are generally cited in this regard. Physical or sexual abuse can result in unstable psychology and that it might lead to deviant behavior. Abused children grow more insecure compared to the children who have not suffered any kind of abuse. Such children grow so insecure that they start seeing everyone as a perpetrator. Sexual or physical abuse can lead to a growing feeling of hatred that may result in antisocial behavior.

A bad childhood increases the chances of getting involved in criminal behavior. Roughly the chances of offensive behavior may grow double because of childhood abuse.  The effects can be worse for the children coming from the lower socioeconomic strata of society.  The reason is that the preventive factors are absent in this strata of the society. Both education and care are absent in this section of the society.  The children whose families are from lower socioeconomic segment are more likely to indulge in criminal behavior at an early age. In this regard sexual abuse has been found to be one of the most important factors behind juvenile delinquency. There is evidence to prove that with increased incidence and severity of sexual abuse the chances of criminal behavior can also increase.

A recent survey of the juveniles under detention showed that  81% of young women and 57% of the young men have been either abused or neglected. In case of the 49% of young men and 19% of the young men, they have suffered severe abuse. Such children perform poorly in academics as well. In this way, the risk factors related to delinquency may rise due to childhood abuse. Moreover, sexual abuse gives rise to difficulties in transition to adolescence and adulthood. A number of psychological and social issues may be born out of these issues. The link between sexual abuse and psychological trauma is clear. Simultaneously, it is equally true that abused children can fall into criminal company easily. Parental care and education are the main factors that can protect children from negative outcomes of abuse.

Sources: https://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/child-abuse/pages/impact-on-arrest-victimization.aspx

https://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/fm2011/fm89/fm89d.html

Written by Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.

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