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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are under-researched and a large part of unrecognized child victims. Although there is considerable research on trauma and adverse experiences in children, there are gaps in research concerning specific types of offending and specific ACEs. The purpose of this study is to determine if specific types of ACEs, or combinations of ACEs, influence children in differing ways related to adolescent delinquency and adult criminality. Analyses of previously collected data, specifically considering information on differences in the average number and likelihood of offenses for both juveniles and adults provides intriguing results. In concurrence with previous research, this study suggests that not only does the occurrence of any ACE significantly influence offending, specific ACEs also significantly increase the likelihood of juvenile and adult offending. Results suggest that there are four specific ACEs that significantly influence adult offending and five specific ACEs that significantly influence juvenile offending. This research also includes a variable measuring poly-victimization, which is one of three variables that significantly influences both juvenile and adult offending. Based on results of this research, it is highly recommended that policy incorporates ways to increase reporting of child victimization and increase research on different types of victimization. There should also be an increase in interventions that focus on emotional bonds, familial relationships, cumulative continuity, and multiple types of victimization.


Recipient of Dean's Citation for Outstanding Thesis.

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