Abuse and Delinquency Does abuse and neglect lead to later delinquency? Throughout my life experiences I would have to agree that there is an abuse-delinquency linkage. This may not be true for someone else who has experienced the same. As with anything, I believe it all depends on the person and the situation. Although I came from what was considered a model home, there were a lot of things that happened behind closed doors. This could be the main factor of why I believe abuse, neglect, and delinquency go hand in hand.The terms child abuse and neglect are sometimes used interchangeably, but they represent different forms of maltreatment. Neglect refers to deprivations children suffer at the hands of their parents (lack of food, shelter, health care, love).
Abuse is a more overt form of aggression against the child (physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect). “The immediate emotional effects of abuse and neglect include isolation, fear, and an inability to trust and can translate into lifelong consequences, including low self-esteem, depression, and relationship difficulties.Because of numerous studies that link child abuse and neglect to juvenile crime there is a strong connection between abuse and delinquency. There is no strong evidence that abuse and/or neglect are the cause of juvenile delinquency because of many different factors. Due to certain common factors, most people tend to think there is a linkage between abuse and delinquency. These include (1) poverty, (2) domestic violence, (3) poor mental health, (4) parental absence, (5) inconsistent discipline and supervision, (6) separation from the family, and (7) broken homes.When a child is abused or neglected, he or she will form mistrust with others and close his or herself off from the world.
“When this occurs there is a tendency he or she will perceive hostility in others in situations where the intentions of others are ambiguous and can generate antagonistic solutions into social conflicts” (Siegel & Welsh). Psychologists suggest that maltreatment encourages children to use aggression as a means of solving problems and prevents them from feeling empathy towards others. In addition to issues such as how individual risk factors like gender, cumulative risk, public aid receipt, and school climate might be connected to maltreatment and delinquency, the publication by SAGE in the current special issue of Child Maltreatment looks at such key subjects as: 1)The abused adolescent’s personal relationships with parents and peers 2)The stigma and internalization of sexual abuse 3)The effects of physical abuse within the first 5 years of life 4)The frequency of violent delinquency 5)Weapon carrying in adolescence 6)The roles of cognitive, emotional, and neurobiological development” (Erickson, 2007).We as a community need to modify the way we respond to child maltreatment if we hope to reduce the likelihood of violence in adolescence. Professionals, who work with juveniles and in the human services field, will work side by side when something like this happens in a child abuse case. Case workers follow the families and children throughout their lives to ensure the safety and security. There are a lot of different steps to take to provide a child with the care and skills he or she needs after being abused or neglected.
When these steps are effective, the change of delinquency decreases.Children and teenagers need to know that they have someone who cares for them. When given the proper resources, anything is possible.References Erickson, J. (2007, August 29). Is there a connection between child maltreatment and adolescent delinquency or violence? SAGE in special issue of Child Maltreatment . Gateway, C. W.
(2008). Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect. Retrieved November 9, 2010, from Child Welfare Information Gateway: http://www. childwelfare. gov/pubs/factsheets/long_term_consequences. cfm#behav Siegel, L. J.
, ; Welsh, B. C. Juvenile Delinquency. Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning.