Child maltreatment and the risk of antisocial behaviour: A population-based cohort study spanning 50

Child maltreatment is a major public health problem; encompassing any acts of commission (abuse) or omission (neglect) that result in harm or potential for harm. In a study led by PISC International Scholar Michelle Degli Esposti, PhD, she examines associations between child maltreatment and antisocial behavior. Unlike past studies which investigate associations between maltreatment and antisocial behavior at one point in time, this longitudinal cohort study can examine whether risks change or are stable over time.

Each indicator of maltreatment was found to be associated with antisocial behavior at all or differing ages. Esposti et al. found there was a dose-response relationship between the number of maltreatment types and antisocial behavior at all ages, suggesting that individuals who have experienced multiple types of maltreatment may be at the greatest risk. Results provided longitudinal evidence that child maltreatment is associated with a persistent and stable risk of antisocial behavior across a 50-year period. These findings highlight the long-lasting impacts of child maltreatment.

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