Methods: The study included adolescents who self-reported delinquent behaviors and/or arrest prior to age 18 (N=1,792). First, the researchers conducted exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses to develop a measure of adult SR deficiency. Then, mediating effects were tested using structural equation modeling in Mplus 7.4.
Results: Results from the factor analyses identified one factor structure of adult SR deficiency, including items of risk-taking, sensation-seeking, impulsivity, and manipulative behaviors. No mediating effects were found. However, several direct effects were significant. CM predicted increased mental health problems (β = .144, p ≤.001), criminal behaviors (β =.096, p ≤.001), and adult SR deficiency (β = .089, p ≤.001). VV predicted increased AOD (β = .070, p ≤ .05) and criminal behaviors (β = .087, p ≤.01). EH predicted increased mental health problems (β =.140, p ≤.001), but was negatively associated with obesity (β = -.041, p ≤.05).
Conclusions and Implications: Results from this study indicate that unique and shared effects of various types of childhood adversity should be considered when examining the impact on adult well-being. In addition, future research should focus on identifying the potential pathways between childhood adversities and adult outcomes. Results also offer support for preventive and trauma-informed policies and direct services to address childhood adversity. Novel to this study is the finding that manipulative behaviors are key components in conceptualizing and measuring adult SR skills. Future researchers should consider including manipulative indicators in measuring adult SR skills, especially in individuals with delinquency behaviors.