National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Child Abuse, Neglect, and Violent Criminal Behavior in a Midwest Metropolitan Area of the United States, 1967-1988 (ICPSR 9480)

Principal Investigator(s):


These data examine the relationships between childhood abuse and/or neglect and later criminal and violent criminal behavior. In particular, the data focus on whether being a victim of violence and/or neglect in early childhood leads to being a criminal offender in adolescence or early adulthood and whether a relationship exists between childhood abuse or neglect and arrests as a juvenile, arrests as an adult, and arrests for violent offenses. For this data collection, adult and juvenile criminal histories of sampled cases with backgrounds of abuse or neglect were compared to those of a matched control group with no official record of abuse or neglect. Variables contained in Part 1 include demographic information (age, race, sex, and date of birth). In Part 2, information is presented on the abuse/neglect incident (type of abuse or neglect, duration of the incident, whether the child was removed from the home and, if so, for how long, results of the placement, and whether the individual was still alive). Part 3 contains family information (with whom the child was living at the time of the incident, family disruptions, and who reported the abuse or neglect) and data on the perpetrator of the incident (relation to the victim, age, race, sex, and whether living in the home of the victim). Part 4 contains information on the charges filed within adult arrest incidents (occasion for arrest, multiple counts of the same type of charge, year and location of arrest, and type of offense or charge), and Part 5 includes information on the charges filed within juvenile arrest incidents (year of juvenile charge, number of arrests, and type of offense or charge). The unit of analysis for Parts 1 through 3 is the individual at age 11 or younger, for Part 4 the charge within the adult arrest incident, and for Part 5 the charge within the juvenile arrest incident.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Demographic Information - Download All Files (0.3 MB)
DS2:  Abuse/Neglect - Download All Files (0.6 MB)
DS3:  Family and Perpetrator - Download All Files (0.6 MB)
DS4:  Adult Criminality - Download All Files (0.5 MB)
DS5:  Juvenile Criminality - Download All Files (0.2 MB)
DS7:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Demographic Information - Download All Files (0.1 MB)

DS8:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Abuse/Neglect - Download All Files (0.2 MB)

DS9:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Family and Perpetrator - Download All Files (0.2 MB)

DS10:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Adult Criminality - Download All Files (0.1 MB)

DS11:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Juvenile Criminality - Download All Files (0.1 MB)


Study Description


Widom, Cathy Spatz. CHILD ABUSE, NEGLECT, AND VIOLENT CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR IN A MIDWEST METROPOLITAN AREA OF THE UNITED STATES, 1967-1988. Compiled by Depts. of Criminal Justice and Psychology, Indiana University. ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 1994.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (86-IJ-CX-0033)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   arrests, child abuse, child neglect, criminality prediction, juvenile crime, offenders, victims, violent crime

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1967--1988

Date of Collection:  

  • 1986-08-01--1989-12-31

Universe:   All children under 12 years of age during the period 1967-1972 in a metropolitan area in the Midwest.

Data Types:   event/transaction data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) The data contain duplicate case numbers. (2) Parts 2 and 3 appear to contain a large amount of missing data. (3) The data apply only to reported and substantiated cases of childhood victimization. (4) Misdemeanor criminal behavior for individuals may not show up in the records checked.


Sample:   Prospective cohorts research design matched with a control group cohort.

Data Source:

adult arrest records at the local, state, and federal levels, county juvenile court and juvenile probation department records, birth records (control group), Bureau of Motor Vehicle records, and marriage license bureau records

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 6 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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