Adverse childhood experiences among youth who offend: Examining exposure to domestic and family violence for male youth who perpetrate sexual harm and violence
This is the second and final report to be produced from the “Adverse childhood experiences and the intergenerational transmission of domestic and family violence in young people who engage in harmful sexual behaviour and violence against women” project.
Building on work completed in the first report which analysed a small subset of cases, the authors have used two large existing datasets that coded information relating to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) for male youth in Queensland who had committed an offence. The two data sets were Queensland Youth Justice records of proven offences (n=6,047) and clinical information maintained by Griffith Youth Forensic Services (GYFS) relating to young men who had been referred to services after perpetrating sexual offences (n=377). The analysis outlined the prevalence of specific ACEs by offence type (YJ dataset) and contrasted the prevalence of ACEs across male youth with and without histories of DFV (GYFS dataset); descriptive presentation ; descriptive analysis of group differences (sexual vs. non-sexual offending); and multivariate models to examine links between DFV and offending.
The report found that across both datasets, ACES were highly prevalent among young men who went on to commit sexual offences. They were also more likely to have experienced co-occurring ACEs. Young men who had been adjudicated for sexual offences were especially likely to have experienced DFV as children.
These findings provide an evidence base for designing program and policy responses for young men who have encountered the youth justice system.
These findings indicate that ACEs occur within a context of gender-based violence. Policy responses drawing on this evidence should prioritise early intervention and promote protective factors applied within a trauma and DFV informed practice framework.
This work is part of the ANROWS research reports series. ANROWS research reports are in-depth reports on empirical research produced under ANROWS’s Research Program.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University
Research Fellow, Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University
Clinical Manager, Griffith Youth Forensic Service, Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University
DANIELLE ARLANDA HARRIS
Senior Lecturer, Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR JOHN RYNNE
Director, Griffith Youth Forensic Service, Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University
PROFESSOR PATRICK O’LEARY
Co-Lead of the Disrupting Violence Beacon, Director of Violence Research and Prevention, Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University
ISBN: 978-1-922645-41-8 (print) | 978-1-922645-42-5 (online)
Ogilvie, J., Thomsen, L., Barton, J., Harris, D. A., Rynne, J., & O’Leary, P. (2022). Adverse childhood experiences among youth who offend: Examining exposure to domestic and family violence for male youth who perpetrate sexual harm and violence (Research report, 13/2022). ANROWS.