The cycle of violence behind bars: Traumatization and institutional misconduct among juvenile delinquents in confinement

Matt DeLisi, Alan J. Drury, Anna E. Kosloski, Jonathan W. Caudill, Peter J. Conis, Craig A. Anderson, Michael G. Vaughn, Kevin M. Beaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)


The prospective link between early life exposure to violence and victimization and subsequent antisocial behaviors is known as the cycle of violence. Although the cycle of violence has been linked to an array of behavioral and psychiatric outcomes, less is known about its relationship to compliance with the juvenile/criminal justice systems. Data from 813 confined delinquents selected from the California Youth Authority and the Traumatic Experiences scale from the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument Version 2 (MAYSI-2) were used to examine the cycle of violence and three forms of misconduct. After controlling for other 18 demographics, delinquent history, commitment offense type, and comorbid psychiatric symptoms that are consistent with the importation model of inmate behavior, the authors found that wards with greater exposure to early life trauma evinced more sexual misconduct, suicidal activity, and total misconduct reviewed by the parole board. Implications and discussion for future research are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-121
Number of pages15
JournalYouth Violence and Juvenile Justice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Law

Cite this