SES and the Longer-Term Effects of Child Abuse

Janet Currie, University of California, Los Angeles
Erdal Tekin, Georgia State University

We use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health to identify the effects of past neglect and/or physical and sexual abuse on the incidence of risky behaviors among young adults. We address several limitations of the existing literature by using a large-scale national data set; comparing the effects of different types of maltreatment and how those effects vary with SES; considering a range of outcomes; and paying careful attention to the identification of causal effects. To do the latter, we will utilize a range of statistical procedures including controlling for a wide variety of individual and family characteristics; estimating twin and sibling fixed effects models; and using state-level policy variables as instrumental variables. Our work will help to determine the extent to which SES is a protective factor, a question that has important implications for the optimal targeting of treatment and prevention.

Presented in Session 4: Early Life Experiences and Later Life Outcomes