IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why do some maltreated youth become juvenile offenders?: A call for further investigation and adaptation of youth services


  • Bender, Kimberly


Experiencing maltreatment is an established risk factor for delinquency. Yet, an understanding of the maltreatment-delinquency link is incomplete as few models have elucidated how maltreated youth become juvenile delinquents. This paper utilizes the latest empirical evidence to propose a diagram detailing pathways from maltreatment to delinquency through potential intervening risk factors, including substance abuse, mental health problems, school difficulties, negative peer networks, and running away from home. Hypothesized gender differences in pathways from maltreatment to delinquency are delineated. Implications for adaptation of child welfare and juvenile justice services to address the link between maltreatment and delinquency are discussed. This paper calls for testing and refining of the proposed pathways from maltreatment to delinquency in order to advance understanding of these complex relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Bender, Kimberly, 2010. "Why do some maltreated youth become juvenile offenders?: A call for further investigation and adaptation of youth services," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 466-473, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:3:p:466-473

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ryan, Joseph P. & Marshall, Jane Marie & Herz, Denise & Hernandez, Pedro M., 2008. "Juvenile delinquency in child welfare: Investigating group home effects," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1088-1099, September.
    2. Ryan, Joseph P. & Herz, Denise & Hernandez, Pedro M. & Marshall, Jane Marie, 2007. "Maltreatment and delinquency: Investigating child welfare bias in juvenile justice processing," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1035-1050, August.
    3. Turner, Heather A. & Finkelhor, David & Ormrod, Richard, 2006. "The effect of lifetime victimization on the mental health of children and adolescents," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 13-27, January.
    4. Wells, Rebecca, 2006. "Managing child welfare agencies: What do we know about what works?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 1181-1194, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lee, JoAnn S. & Courtney, Mark E. & Tajima, Emiko, 2014. "Extended foster care support during the transition to adulthood: Effect on the risk of arrest," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 34-42.
    2. Dianna T. Kenny & Susan Blacker & Mark Allerton, 2014. "Reculer Pour Mieux Sauter : A Review of Attachment and Other Developmental Processes Inherent in Identified Risk Factors for Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Offending," Laws, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-30, July.
    3. Lee, Sei-Young & Villagrana, Margarita, 2015. "Differences in risk and protective factors between crossover and non-crossover youth in juvenile justice," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 18-27.
    4. Reckdenwald, Amy & Mancini, Christina & Beauregard, Eric, 2014. "Adolescent self-image as a mediator between childhood maltreatment and adult sexual offending," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 85-94.
    5. Huang, Hui & Ryan, Joseph P., 2014. "The location of placement and juvenile delinquency: Do neighborhoods matter in child welfare?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 33-45.
    6. Farineau, Heather M. & McWey, Lenore M., 2011. "The relationship between extracurricular activities and delinquency of adolescents in foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 963-968, June.
    7. Dauber, Sarah & Hogue, Aaron, 2011. "Profiles of systems involvement in a sample of high-risk urban adolescents with unmet treatment needs," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 2018-2026, October.
    8. Ayer, Lynsay & Kohl, Patricia & Malsberger, Rosalie & Burgette, Lane, 2016. "The impact of fathers on maltreated youths' mental health," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 16-20.
    9. repec:eee:cysrev:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:256-262 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Ben-David, Vered & Jonson-Reid, Melissa & Bright, Charlotte & Drake, Brett, 2016. "Family formation: A positive outcome for vulnerable young women?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 57-66.
    11. Onifade, Eyitayo & Barnes, Ashlee & Campbell, Christina & Anderson, Valerie & Petersen, Jodi & Davidson, William, 2014. "Juvenile offenders and experiences of neglect: The validity of the YLS/CMI with dual-status youth," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 112-119.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:32:y:2010:i:3:p:466-473. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.