This study examined the prevalence of and patterns of overlap among four problem behaviors (alcohol abuse, drug abuse, nonviolent crime, and violence) in abused and neglected children who have become adults.
Using data from a prospective cohort design study, abused and neglected children were matched with a control group and followed into adulthood (n = 1,190). After controlling for parental alcohol and drug problems, parental arrest, childhood poverty, and ethnicity, the study found that abused and neglected females, but not males, were at significantly higher risk for substance abuse/dependence diagnoses and arrests for violent crimes than control group subjects. Abused and neglected males and females, compared with controls, had higher rates of comorbidity for substance abuse and arrests for nonviolent crimes. Abused and neglected females were at greater risk for comorbidity for substance abuse and arrest for violent crimes as well, compared with control females. Overall, the findings show gender differences in the consequences of childhood victimization. 5 tables, 2 notes, and 110 references