A systematic review and meta-analysis on adverse childhood experiences: Prevalence in youth offenders and their effects on youth recidivism

Astridge, Belinda, Li, Wendy, McDermott, Brett, and Longhitano, Carlo (2023) A systematic review and meta-analysis on adverse childhood experiences: Prevalence in youth offenders and their effects on youth recidivism. Child Abuse and Neglect, 140. 106055.

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Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been found to be more prevalent among youth involved with the criminal justice system compared to their counterparts in the general population. The present study aims to systematically review the existing empirical studies to provide a comprehensive understanding of the prevalence of ACEs among youth offenders aged between 10 and 19 years, and the effects of both cumulative ACEs and individual ACE items on youth recidivism.

Method: A systematic review approach was employed. Narrative synthesis and meta-analysis were performed to synthesise the data in 31 included studies.

Results: The pooled prevalence of cumulative ACEs was 39.4 %. The pooled prevalence of individual ACEs ranged between 13.7 % to 51.4 %. Cumulative ACEs and neglect were positively associated with youth recidivism, with OR = 1.966, 95%CI [1.582, 2.444] and OR = 1.328, 95% CI [1.078, 1.637], respectively. Physical and sexual abuse were not significantly associated with youth recidivism. Regarding the mechanisms underlying the relationship between ACEs and recidivism; moderators included gender, positive childhood experiences, strong social bonds, and empathy. Mediators included child welfare placement, emotional and behavioural problems, drug use, mental health problems, and negative emotionality.

Conclusion: Developing programs to youth offenders aiming to address the impact of cumulative and individual ACE exposure, strengthen the protective factors and weaken the risk factors would be useful to reduce youth recidivism.

Item ID: 78660
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-7757
Keywords: Recidivism, Youth reoffending, Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), Violence, Abuse, Trauma exposure
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 25 May 2023 02:47
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200409 Mental health @ 100%
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