Understanding the cycle: Childhood maltreatment and future crime

Janet Currie, Erdal Tekin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Child maltreatment is a major social problem. This paper focuses on measuring the relationship between child maltreatment and crime using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). We focus on crime because it is one of the most costly potential outcomes of maltreatment. Our work addresses two main limitations of the existing literature on child maltreatment. First, we use a large national sample, and investigate different types of maltreatment in a unified framework. Second, we pay careful attention to controlling for possible confounders using a variety of statistical methods that make differing assumptions. The results suggest that maltreatment greatly increases the probability of engaging in crime and that the probability increases with the experience of multiple forms of maltreatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-549
Number of pages41
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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