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  Longitudinal Data Analysis of Protective Factors and Justice System
  Involvement Among Youth Who Experience Maltreatment

Overview:

This research study used nationally representative data to examine the longitudinal connection between maltreatment and later offending in youth. The researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to identify which protective factors may prevent the onset or decrease the frequency of delinquent or criminal behavior among maltreated youth.

Under the Studies Program on Trauma and Justice-Involved Youth, OJJDP funded the researchers from Child Trends to increase understanding of the developmental pathways of youth from trauma to justice involvement and the implications of justice involvement, and develop trauma-informed practices.

Goals and Objectives:

The goal of this study was to increase understanding of the roles that sociodemographics and protective factors play in the maltreatment-offending relationship. Specific objectives include:

  • Use statistical modelling to examine the pattern and frequency of delinquent or criminal behavior from adolescence into young adulthood in the representative sample.
  • Assess whether patterns of violent and nonviolent offending vary by sex, race/ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
  • Use statistical modelling to examine the relationship between maltreatment and later delinquent or criminal behaviors from adolescence into young adulthood.
  • Assess whether the relationship between maltreatment and later violent and non-violent offending vary by sex, race/ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
  • Test whether potential protective factors at the peer, family, school, and neighborhood levels decrease the risk that youth who experience maltreatment will go on to engage in delinquent or criminal behaviors.
  • Assess whether the effects of protective factors vary by sex, race/ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
  • Use mixed effects modeling in a nationally representative sample to create growth curves illustrating the above relationships.

Milestones:

The grant project has closed and produced the publications below. Peer-reviewed publications from this project are currently under review.

Publications and Products

The report, How School, Family, and Community Protective Factors Can Help Youth Who Have Experienced Maltreatment, is published on the Child Trends website.

The analysis plan and codebook will be published on the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data.

The final technical report will also be published on NCJRS.gov when it is available.

Contact Information:

Andra Wilkinson, Research Scientist
awilkinson@childtrends.org | 919-869-3263
Child Trends

Hannah Lantos, Research Scientist
hlantos@childtrends.org | 240-223-9358
Child Trends

Barbara Tatem Kelley, Social Science Analyst
Barbara.Kelley@usdoj.gov | 202-616-9517

Project Snapshot

Project Title: Maltreatment and Delinquency Associations Across Development: Assessing Differences Among Historically Understudied Groups and Potential Protective Factors

Solicitation: FY2016 Studies Program on Trauma and Justice-Involved Youth

Grantee: Child Trends, Inc.

Award start date: October 1, 2016

End date: June 30, 2018

Award status: Closed

Type of research: Basic research

Location of research: National
 

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