Physical neglect in childhood as a predictor of violent behavior in adolescent males

William M. McGuigan, Jack A. Luchette, Roxanne Atterholt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Research has established that childhood maltreatment experiences are associated with negative outcomes in adolescence, including violent and antisocial behavior (Chapple et al., 2005). Neglect is the most prevalent form of childhood maltreatment (U.S. DHHS, 2012), the consequences of which require further investigation. This study used archival data to explore whether childhood physical neglect increased the likelihood of violent behavior in a random sample of 85 males between the ages of 12–19 held at a long-term detention facility in the Northeastern United States. An anonymous survey gathered background information and data regarding childhood physical neglect and violent behavior in adolescence. A step-wise hierarchal regression model controlled for the effects of age, self-esteem, personal competency, depression, chemical drug use, family violence and a childhood history of physical abuse. Results showed that a history of childhood physical neglect was the strongest predictor of violent adolescent behavior in this sample when the data was tested for all moderator and mediator effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-400
Number of pages6
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - May 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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