Understanding Delinquency Among Maltreated Youth in Maryland

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2004-04-27

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The objective of this study was to improve upon researchers' understanding of the maltreatment-delinquency relationship. Within this study we examined differences among youth in Maryland with confirmed records of maltreatment and delinquency between 1998 and 2002. We tested three hypotheses in a series of six logistical regression models. The hypotheses were: characteristics of the maltreatment event influence the likelihood of delinquency; the intervention of the Department of Human Resources influences the likelihood of delinquency as the next point of contact; and the intervention of the Department of Juvenile Justice influences the likelihood of chronic delinquency. Our evidence supported the intended relationships. However, the data suggest that the relationships between the variables were contingent upon the sequencing of the interactions. While our data had many limitations, the findings from this study suggest that both the sequencing of interactions and the governmental intervention are important to understanding a link between maltreatment and delinquency.

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