Delinquent effects of childhod exposure to violent victimization: A latent longitudinal class analyses


Weir, H. & Kaukinen, C. (2015). Delinquent effects of childhod exposure to violent victimization: A latent longitudinal class analyses. In Maxwell, S. R. Blair S. L. (Ed.), Violence and Crime in the Family: Patterns, Causes, and Consequences (pp. 255-284). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.


Purpose - The present study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Ad Health) to evaluate the effects of exposure to violent victimization in childhood on adolescent delinquency and subsequent adult criminality. Methodology/approach - Using Longitudinal Latent Class Analysis (LLCA), the present study investigates whether there are distinct and diverse longitudinal delinquency trajectories among those exposed to violence in childhood. Findings - Findings from the current study indicate that there are three distinct trajectories of delinquency and offending from age 14 to 27 for both males and females exposed to violence in childhood. Further, it appears that violent victimization in childhood bridges the gender gap in delinquency between males and females. Thus, childhood violent victimization, and the fact that females are victimized by parents/caregivers and romantic partners at higher rates than males, might be partially responsible in explaining the narrowing of the gender gap between male and female offending in the recent decades. At the same time, childhood violent victimization also seems to impact males and females in somewhat different ways. Practically, all female victims stop offending by their late 20s, whereas a fairly large proportion of males exposed to violent victimization in childhood steadily continue offending. Research limitations/implications - Although this study was able to identify the diverse impacts of violence exposure on engagement in subsequent delinquency, it did not examine the unique contributions of each type of violence on adolescent outcomes or the chronicity of exposure to each of these types of violent victimization. We were also not able to measure all types of violence experiences in childhood, such as exposure to parents' or caregivers' intimate partner violence. Social implications - While early prevention would be the most desirable option for both genders for the most optimal outcome, the retrospective intervention and treatment programs should be gender-specific. For males, they should heavily focus on providing alternative ways to cope with anger, impulse control and frustration, as well as teach empathy, cognitive problem solving skills, verbal communication skills, and tangible life and job skills. For females, most successful intervention and treatment programs may focus on helping the girls through a transition from adolescence to adulthood while providing mental health, medical, and family support services. Originality/value - The paper uses a unique methodological approach to identify distinct and diverse longitudinal delinquency trajectories. The findings demonstrate how more resilient individuals (in terms of externalizing behaviors) can bring down the mean scores of delinquency even though many other individuals can be severely affected by violence exposure in childhood.



Childhood exposure to violence externalizing behaviors Add Health Longitudinal Latent Class Analysis delinquency violence ADOLESCENT DATING VIOLENCE CRIMINAL CAREER RESEARCH GENDER-DIFFERENCES INTERGENERATIONAL TRANSMISSION DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COLLEGE-STU


ISI Document Delivery No.: BE7XS Times Cited: 0 Cited Reference Count: 77 Weir, Henriikka Kaukinen, Catherine Article; Book Chapter 0 HOWARD HOUSE, WAGON LANE, BINGLEY, W YORKSHIRE BD16 1WA, ENGLAND

Reference Type

Book Chapter

Book Title

Violence and Crime in the Family: Patterns, Causes, and Consequences

Series Title

Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research


Weir, H.
Kaukinen, C.


Maxwell, S. R. Blair S. L.

Year Published


Volume Number





Emerald Group Publishing Ltd

City of Publication



1530-3535 978-1-78560-262-7; 978-1-78560-263-4



Reference ID