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Effects of Physical and Emotional Child Abuse and Its Chronicity on Crime Into Adulthood

NCJ Number
Violence and Victims Volume: 30 Issue: 6 Dated: 2015 Pages: 1004-1018
Date Published
December 2015
15 pages

This study tested hypotheses that pertain to direct and indirect effects of parent-reported physical and emotional abuse on later self-reported criminal behavior in a sample of 356 adults in a longitudinal study of more than 30 years; childhood antisocial behavior was included in analyses as a potential mediator.


The study found that physical abuse predicted only adult crime indirectly through childhood antisocial behavior; whereas, emotional abuse predicted adult outcome both directly and indirectly. Chronicity of physical abuse was indirectly related to later crime in a subsample test for those who had been physically abused (n = 318); whereas, chronicity of emotional abuse was neither directly nor indirectly related to adult crime in a test of those who had been emotionally abused (n = 225). Implications for future research and practice are discussed. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: December 1, 2015