Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

Pathways from child maltreatment to juvenile offending

Crime facts info no. 42

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, February 2003

Until recently, there has been limited research that investigates children's life course of maltreatment and subsequent patterns of offending. A report released by the Australian Institute of Criminology reveals a direct path from child maltreatment to juvenile offending. The report focuses on the 41,700 children born in Queensland in 1983, and more specifically the 2,885 children that were reported to the Department of Families as maltreated. Various factors were identified to predict subsequent offending in maltreated children such as gender and Indigenous status. For example, 25 per cent of maltreated males were more likely to subsequently offend compared to 11 per cent of maltreated females. Forty-two per cent of maltreated Indigenous children later offended compared to 14 per cent of non-Indigenous maltreated children. Furthermore, almost one-quarter of the maltreated children who suffered physical abuse or neglect subsequently offended.

Predictors of subsequent juvenile offending of maltreated children



  • Stewart, A., Dennison, S. & Waterson, E. 2002, "Pathways from Child Maltreatment to Juvenile Offending", Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, no. 241, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.