Published May 12, 2015
Congratulations to Assistant Professors Patricia Logan-Greene and Annette Semanchin Jones on the publication of their article, Chronic neglect and aggression/delinquency: A longitudinal examination, in Child Abuse & Neglect.
Neglect is the most common form of maltreatment in the United States, yet its impact on development remains understudied, especially for chronic neglect. Chronic neglect is also one of the most costly burdens on child welfare systems. This study examines the effects of chronic neglect, including two subtypes (Failure to Provide and Lack of Supervision) on adolescent aggression and delinquency using a diverse longitudinal sample of youth. Chronic neglect and chronic failure to provide (ages 0–12) predicted aggression/delinquency (age 14) even after controlling for the effects of other maltreatment (ages 0–12). Chronic lack of supervision, however, did not. Gender significantly moderated these effects, suggesting that males are more likely to respond to neglect by becoming aggressive/delinquent. Finally, social problems (age 12) partially mediated for boys, and fully mediated for girls, the connections between chronic neglect and aggression/delinquency, bolstering theorizing that neglect impairs social functioning broadly. Implications include the need for further research on chronic neglect, especially in providing guidance for child welfare systems. Interventions for chronically neglected youth should include social skill development.