Youth Arrested for Trading Sex Have the Highest Rates of Childhood Adversity: A Statewide Study of Juvenile Offenders

Rachel Naramore, Melissa A. Bright, Nathan Epps, Nancy S. Hardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

A history of childhood adversity is associated with high-risk behaviors and criminal activity in both adolescents and adults. Furthermore, individuals with histories of child maltreatment are at higher risk for engaging in risky sexual behavior, experiencing re-victimization, and in some cases, becoming sexual offenders. The purpose of the current study was to examine the prevalence of individual and cumulative adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) reported by 102 offending youth who were arrested for trading sex and 64,227 offending youth who were arrested for various other crimes, using Florida’s Positive Achievement Change Tool. Youth with violations related to sex trafficking had higher rates for each ACE as well as number of ACEs, particularly sexual abuse and physical neglect. These findings have implications for identifying adverse experiences in both maltreated and offending youth as well as tailoring services to prevent re-victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-410
Number of pages15
JournalSexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • adverse childhood experiences
  • juvenile offenders
  • sex trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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