Dennison, S. and Stewart, A., Griffith University, Australia
Although a relationship between child maltreatment and juvenile offending has been documented, the dynamic process by which maltreatment leads to later offending is less well understood. Little is known about how the timing, severity, type and frequency of the maltreatment increases the likelihood of juvenile offending or the nature of that offending. The purpose of this study is to explore the pathways from maltreatment to juvenile offending, by examining both the nature of the maltreatment and the subsequent offending. This study used the records of an Australian birth cohort who are now 18 and who came to the attention of the Department of Families (Queensland) over a child maltreatment matter and/or a juvenile justice matter. First, the study compares factors associated with those children who have been maltreated and engaged in juvenile offending with those who have not offended. Second, the study examines whether particular forms of maltreatment are related to specific types of offending. Preliminary analysis found that children with more than two maltreatment notifications were more likely to offend in adolescence, were more likely to offend at a younger age, and were more likely to offend more often than children with one or two maltreatment notifications. Understanding the sequence of events and the extent of abuse and neglect and their related outcomes will help target crime prevention interventions.