Adverse childhood experiences, delinquency, and health implications for juvenile justice systems

Lisa A. Kort-Butler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A growing body of research has demonstrated the deleterious impact of cumulative traumatic exposure prior to age 18 on negative physical health, mental health, and behavioral outcomes. This chapter explores these findings, focusing primarily on prospective studies mostly using a measure of exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which includes abuses, neglect, and household dysfunctions. Findings further the argument that the interrelatedness of these trauma types necessitates a cumulative stressor approach rather than a focus on singular types of abuse or unique effects of one type versus another. Consistency in the negative repercussions of childhood maltreatment hold across samples, methodologies, and location. Focus is given to the implications of these negative effects and strong evidence that exposure is higher among special populations, including juvenile offenders. As such, a four-tier strategy for juvenile justice system enhance may include (1) prevention, (2) screening, staff training, and service referral, (3) targeted intervention, and (4) system alignment, primarily with child welfare agencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge International Handbook of Delinquency and Health
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000020854
ISBN (Print)9780367256920
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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