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Child Maltreatment, Revictimization, and Violent Behavior

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The study investigates the cumulative impact of child maltreatment and victimization in adolescence on violent behavior in young adulthood in a nonclinical high-risk sample. The sample consists of 1,526 incarcerated young men (14 to 24 years) who were interviewed with standardized instruments during their prison term. Violent and nonviolent offenders with and without repeated victimization experiences throughout the life cycle were compared. Results show that child maltreatment doubles the risk for violent victimization in adolescence. Repeated victimization experiences in adolescence heighten the risk for later violent offending. This is the case for officially registered violence and self-reported violent behavior. In addition, child maltreatment increased the probability of self-reported violence as well. However, the interaction effect of victimization in childhood and victimization in early adolescence counteracted the main effects. Being repeatedly victimized throughout the early life cycle slightly reduced the probability of being a frequent offender.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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