Child Physical Abuse And Juvenile Delinquency

2311 Words Dec 1st, 2014 10 Pages
Child Physical Abuse and Juvenile Delinquency

Introduction
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, child abuse and maltreatment roughly doubles the probability that an individual engages in many types of crime (Picker, 2014). More specifically, it is noted that those who experience physical abuse as a child are 30% more likely than their counterparts to commit violent crimes as a juvenile (Wisdom and Maxfield, 2001). Physical abuse of a child may include but is not limited to injuries that result from kicking, punching, biting, beating, or hitting a child that are non-accidental, As defined by St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. It is believed that because of such treatment the child is inclined to portray the same aggressive behavior in their juvenile years, which creates a “cycle of violence” (Wisdom and Maxfield, 2001). This leads to my research question: Are juveniles who experience physical abuse in their childhood more likely to commit violent crimes?
The term “juvenile” in this case can be described as an individual who is at least 18 years of age or younger. I hypothesize that juveniles who have experienced physical abuse as a child are more likely to commit violent crimes. My null hypothesis is that being physically abused and the type of crime one commits have no relation. This is a perfect example of Travis Hirschi’s Social Control Theory, which states “when an individual has experienced a lack of social connections or a lack of social network that…
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