Inevitable or Avoidable: Assessing the Relationship between Childhood Trauma and Adult Crime and Violence
Crime, violence, and childhood trauma are all unfortunate things to speak of, yet they are ever-present in our society. We might have several questions about what factors have a casual influence on these events and how we can prevent them, but for the researcher, one question stood out among others – could all three be connected in some way? In conjunction with that thought, this project uses secondary data analysis to examine whether or not childhood trauma (neglect, abuse, parental death, parental absence, etc.) is related to later adult criminal offending or violent behavior. In addition, specific psychological processes that could possibly connect childhood trauma with adult offending have been researched and described, including learned helplessness, classical conditioning, neurological changes in the brain post-trauma, and the emergence of psychological disorders. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) has been utilized through statistical analysis in pursuit of supporting or refuting the hypothesis, which believes that there is a positive relationship between childhood trauma and adult offending. This is all done with the motive to help reduce childhood trauma and adult offending and violence because, in order to pursue the weighty goals of putting an end to crime as well as childhood suffering, we must first work to better understand them and how they relate to each other.
Martha Henderson Hurley
Primary Advisor's Department
Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
Stander Symposium poster
"Inevitable or Avoidable: Assessing the Relationship between Childhood Trauma and Adult Crime and Violence" (2019). Stander Symposium Posters. 1763.