Date of Submission


Document Type



Criminal Justice


Melissa L. Whitson, Ph.D.


Adverse Childhood Experiences, Aces, Self-Silencing, Juvenile Delinquency, Gender


Childhood and youth, Psychic trauma in children, Juvenile delinquency, Gender


The relationship between adverse childhood experiences and the juvenile justice involvement is a well-studied area. Many studies have found that ACEs are related to an increase a child’s involvement in the juvenile justice system, as well as their risk of reoffending. However, a subject that has not been investigated as thoroughly is how other factors may explain or moderate this relationship. This study examined the relationship between ACEs and self-reported juvenile justice involvement for 672 adults. Selfsilencing, or denying one’s trauma, was examined as a potential mediator between this relationship and gender was examined as a potential moderating factor. Results revealed a positive relationship between ACEs and juvenile justice involvement for all participants. Additionally, for females (but not males), the relationship between ACE scores and juvenile justice involvement had an indirect effect through self-silencing, such that higher ACE scores were related to higher self-silencing scores, which was related to more juvenile justice involvement. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.