Theory for a neglect-violence relationship has not been systematically elaborated in the literature until very recently (Savage & Murray, 2015). Perhaps this is why effects of neglect are tested in fewer studies than the effects of other forms of abuse, in spite of the fact that neglect is more common, and indicators of general maltreatment are likely to be heavily weighted by neglect cases. In 4 studies where violent offenders were compared to nonviolent offenders, 2 reported a preponderance of null comparisons and 2 reported a PoC in the predicted direction but not statistically significant (Famularo et al., 1990; Haapasalo & Moilanen, 2004; Hamalainen & Haapasalo, 1996; McClintic, 2003).

In studies where the authors estimated the association between neglect and the two outcomes (violent and nonviolent offending) separately, the findings are mixed and do not support the differential etiology hypothesis. In our own analysis of Add Health data, we found that neglect in childhood (measured retrospectively) was significantly associated with violence in the transition to adulthood, controlling for nonviolent offending (Savage & Murray, 2015). More research would be needed to for any degree of certainty about this conclusion to be reached.

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