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The research method was used to discover the relationship between variables without relating the study to the background variables. Data was collected repeatedly throughout the length of the study. The study compared the arrest records of the children who had been abused or neglected with the arrest records of those who had not been abused or mistreated. The study took a period of 4 years from 1961 to 1971. The study was also repeated in 1988 when the subjects were 26 years while another additional study which is current was done in 1994 (Widom and Maxfield 1).
Victims of neglect are likely to develop violent criminal behavior. Although many subjects in the study had no criminal history of physical abuse and neglect, victims of neglect had increased the likelihood of arrest by 59 percent while as a juvenile and 28 percent while as an adult. They had a 30 percent higher likelihood of arrest for violent crimes.
The three studies on the abuse and neglect conducted in Midwest, New York and Mecklenburg used different subjects but all concluded that childhood abuse and neglect increases the risk of crime and delinquency. The findings were important since all the researches used different sampling procedures hence NIJ could generalize the research findings. In the New York research, even though gender, family structure and social class factors where controlled in the research, the findings indicated that childhood maltreatment was a risk factor which increases delinquency and self-reported violent behavior (Widom and Maxfield 2).
One factor which was unique about the three researches is that out-of-home placements was not related to the number of arrests among those children who had been removed from their homes due to only abuse or neglect. The assumption of the study was that removal from home presented additional risk but that could not be confirmed by the research findings (Widom and Maxfield 2).
Females who were abused or
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