The effects of child protective services involvement, childhood trauma, and time in detention on crossover youth recidivism



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Crossover youth are justice-involved youth who also have a history of child protective services involvement (CPSI). This subgroup of justice-involved youth is characterized by complex trauma and higher rates of recidivism. Exposure to trauma has been shown to compromise a child’s wellbeing in all aspects of development. Many maltreated children develop disorders (e.g., substance abuse, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder) and behaviors (e.g., substance use, inattention, impulsiveness, aggression) that direct their social trajectory toward delinquency increasing the likelihood of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. Additionally, experiencing maltreatment in the home often leads to removal from the home as a result of involvement in the child welfare system. Consequently, these children are subjected to further adverse experiences such as placement insecurity and disruption within the family or family systems that may intensify concurrent problems associated with delinquency. The objectives of the current study were to examine the relationship between child protective services involvement and recidivism for crossover youth and to investigate childhood trauma and time served in detention as conditions under which crossover youth recidivism occurs. Evidence was found to suggest CPSI predicts recidivism and that time in detention increases the likelihood of recidivism. Results also show cumulative trauma influences recidivism but under mixed conditions. Limitations for the current study and future directions are discussed.



Crossover youth, Delinquency, Detention, Justice-involved youth, Trauma