Criminal History and Adverse Childhood Experiences in Relation to Recidivism and Social Functioning in Multi-problem Young Adults

Laura Van Duin*, Michiel De Vries Robbé, Reshmi Marhe, Floor Bevaart, Josjan Zijlmans, Marie Jolette A. Luijks, Theo A.H. Doreleijers, Arne Popma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the relationship between criminal history and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how they collectively predict (a) recidivism and (b) positive social functioning among multi-problem young adults. Criminal records and self-report data regarding ACEs and adult education/employment and quality of life (QoL) were collected for 692 multiproblem young adults (18–27 years). Results indicated that an extensive criminal history was related to non-violent and violent recidivism and lack of involvement in education/employment in young adulthood. On the contrary, a higher number of ACEs was related to lower QoL later in life, while this was not associated with recidivism or education/employment. These findings highlight again that past criminal behavior is a strong predictor of future criminality, particularly within this group of young adults with multiple problems. Furthermore, experiencing negative events in childhood shows to have long-term negative effects on QoL even for these individuals who already experience multiple life problems. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-654
Number of pages18
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the participants, the social welfare agency in Rotterdam (Jongerenloket), and DNK (Dutch: De Nieuwe Kans) for their cooperation with this study. We would like to thank the De Verre Bergen Foundation for funding this study. We have no known conflict of interest to disclose. Laura van Duin (1st author) and Michiel de Vries Robbé (1st author) collaborated on the first draft of the manuscript. This research project is funded by De Verre Bergen Foundation. De Verre Bergen Foundation is a venture philanthropy organization that aims to build a better Rotterdam through substantial investments in innovative, impactful social ventures. The financer was not involved in the design of the study nor the drafting of the manuscript. Furthermore, the financer was not involved in the process of data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Direct financer inquiries to Marvin Pires, Parklaan 22, 3016 BB Rotterdam, The Netherlands; e-mail: [email protected] .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology.

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