Gender Differences in the Impact of Child Maltreatment on Early Adult Criminality in the Rochester Youth Development Study

Carolyn A. Smith, University at Albany
Timothy O. Ireland, Niagara University
Alan J. Lizotte, University at Albany

Results from several longitudeinal studies converge in finding that childhood maltreatment is a risk factor for a range of problem outcomes including crime, violence and drug use. Previous investigations employing Rochester Youth Development Study data (RYDS) have investigated adolescent outcomes of official maltreatment, which affects 20% of study participants. In the current analysis, we investigate gender differences in young adult outcomes including arrest, self-reported offending, violence, and drug abuse. This paper will address these issues using data from RYDS, a longitudinal investigation of the development or delinquent behavior in a high-risk sample of 1,000 urban youth followed from age 13 to adulthood. The sample includes 73% male ane 27% female subjects. Subjects are 68% African American, 17% Hispanic, and 15% White. Subjects are interviewed at regular intervals through approximately age 22. We control for confounding variables, including gender, poverty, family structure, and race/ethnicity in our analyses, and discuss implications of the findings. Gender differences in patterns of maltreatment, as well as in outcomes will be presented, and further implications for research and intervention will be discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006