Beatings, not sexual abuse, turn child into a criminal
January 7 2003
Physically abused and neglected children are far more likely to end up with a criminal record, researchers say.
On the other hand, sexually abused children are less likely to offend later in life, the study, released yesterday by the Australian Institute of Criminology, has found.
Researchers from Griffith University, Queensland, studied more than 41,000 children born in the state in 1983 until they turned 17. They found a quarter of the boys abused and 11 per cent of girls went on to offend.
One of the report's authors, Dr Anna Stewart, said the study was unique in Australia as it followed a group from birth, and the results confirmed overseas studies.
The criminology institute's director, Dr Adam Graycar, said more resources must be directed to abused children to ensure maltreatment was not repeated.