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In China, Adult Criminals Were Abused Kids

The link between childhood abuse and neglect and adult anti-social behavior isn't confined to the Western world.
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The truism that abusive childhoods lead to troubled adulthoods is as valid in Beijing as Baltimore. That's the conclusion of a study recently published in the journal Children and Youth Services Review.

In a first-of-its-kind survey of 2,690 inmates in the Chinese capital’s 11 jails, 90 percent reported they were victims of at least two of five forms of childhood abuse: emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, or physical neglect.

"Men reported high levels of physical abuse, whereas women reported high levels of physical neglect," reports a research team led by Peking University psychologist Yuyin Wang.

The researchers found a strong link between childhood physical abuse and eventual conviction for a violent crime. They note that while cultural norms are changing, many Chinese still cling to a “harsh parenting style,” which will only be modified with better education and such Western-style interventions as child protective services.

Perhaps some of those Tiger Moms are far too ferocious.