Gender Differences in the Criminal Consequences of Childhood Victimization in the Northwest

Cathy Spatz Widom, New Jersey Medical School (UMDNJ)
Amie M. Schuck, New Jersey Medical School
Diana J. English, Children's Administration Services

This presentation examines the extent to which there are gender differences in criminal consequences associated with early childhood victimization, using a cohort of abused and neglected children from the Northwest region of the country from 1980-1985 who were followed up through age 24 and compared with a matched comparison group of children. We will examine whether there are gender differences in the extent of increase in risk for delinquency, adult criminality, and violent criminal behavior in this new sample of abused and neglected children (n=877) and matched controls (n=877) and risk for specific types of crimes. Implications of these findings for the common assumption that males externalize and females internalize their pain and suffering will be discussed as well as implications for research and policy.

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Updated 05/20/2006