Childhood Victimization and Diversity of Problem Behavior in Adolescence

Jeanne G. Kaufman, University at Albany
Cathy Spatz Widom, New Jersey Medical School (UMDNJ)

Childhood victimization has been associated with a variety of adolescent behavior problems, although few studies have examined risk for multiple forms of problem behavior. This presentation examines whether childhood victimization is a risk factor for multiple adolescent problem behaviors. Data are from a larger research project in which individuals with documented histories of childhood physical and sexual abuse and neglect were compared with a matched control group of individuals without such histories of maltreatment. As part of a follow-up interview approximately 20 years after the chilhood victimization incident, respondents were asked about their involvement in a variety of youthful problem behaviors. We hypothesize that abused and neglected children are involved in more types and more serious forms of adolescent problem behaviors compared to nonabused and nonneglected indivudals. We also examine the effect of gender and different types and combinations of types of childhood victimization in the association between childhood victimization and involvement in multiple and diverse forms of problem behavior in adolescence.

(Return to Program Resources)

Updated 05/20/2006