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Child Abuse Negl. 2018 Feb;76:408-415. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.12.002. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

Predictors of justice system involvement: Maltreatment and education.

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Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, 1 Research Boulevard, Suite 103, Starkville, MS 39759, United States.
Mississippi State University, Department of Psychology, 110 Magruder Hall, 255 Lee Blvd. 39762, United States. Electronic address:


Decades of research have established that experience of abuse and/or neglect in childhood is related to negative outcomes, such as juvenile delinquency. Existing research has shown that involvement in child welfare services is also related to juvenile delinquency, particularly for children who are victims of neglect. Research has also identified educational factors such as chronic absenteeism as significant predictors of involvement in the juvenile justice system. However, little research has investigated the combined influence of educational factors, child abuse, and involvement in child protective services on justice system involvement. The current study examined the influence of educational factors and involvement in child protective services on justice system involvement. The study utilized records from an educational database of children who attended a school within a county of Mississippi in any year from 2003 through 2013. Cases were then matched with records from the county Youth Court, Law Enforcement agencies, and Child Protection Services. A multivariate logistic regression controlling for gender, race, current age, and time at risk was conducted to involvement in the justice system. In general, educational factors were stronger predictors of justice system involvement than allegations of maltreatment.


Child abuse; Chronic absenteeism; Education; Justice system involvement

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