• Child Abuse, Gender, and the Cycle of Violence

      Seale, Elizabeth; Bohart, Katie (2021)
      This study is a secondary data analysis comparing 877 subjects and 877 controls, with specific focus on childhood victimization and adult crime correlations. Subjects were individuals found to have been abused or neglected in caseloads of a large urban county in the Northwest United States for 17 years. Controls were matched to subjects on the basis of socio-economic factors. We find that subjects are more likely to be charged with a violent crime as an adult than are controls. The percentage of subjects who were charged with a violent crime is 8.8%, compared to 0.8% of the control group. The second hypothesis – subjects of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse are more likely to commit violent crime as an adult than are subjects who have only been victims of neglect, or controls – is also supported: 8.7% of subjects who were emotionally, physically, or sexually abused were charged with a violent crime as an adult, compared to 2.9% of the group that was not subject to abuse. The third hypothesis tested is subjects whose abuse was perpetrated by a member of the same gender is more likely to commit a violent crime as an adult than those subjects whose abuse was not perpetrated by the same gender. It should be noted that the differences found by gender are not statistically significant. Implications of this study for understanding the cycle of violence is discussed.