Adverse Childhood Experiences, Delinquency, and Health

Implications for Juvenile Justice Systems

Authored by: Michael Baglivio

Routledge International Handbook of Delinquency and Health

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367256920
eBook ISBN: 9780429289194
Adobe ISBN:


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A growing body of research has demonstrated the deleterious impact of cumulative traumatic exposure prior to age 18 on negative physical health, mental health, and behavioral outcomes. This chapter explores these findings, focusing primarily on prospective studies mostly using a measure of exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which includes abuses, neglect, and household dysfunctions. Findings further the argument that the interrelatedness of these trauma types necessitates a cumulative stressor approach rather than a focus on singular types of abuse or unique effects of one type versus another. Consistency in the negative repercussions of childhood maltreatment hold across samples, methodologies, and location. Focus is given to the implications of these negative effects and strong evidence that exposure is higher among special populations, including juvenile offenders. As such, a four-tier strategy for juvenile justice system enhance may include (1) prevention, (2) screening, staff training, and service referral, (3) targeted intervention, and (4) system alignment, primarily with child welfare agencies.

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