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Institute of Criminology


This is an online event. Please register here to attend.

Identifying opportunities for prevention and early investment: A program of research on child protection and youth justice

with Dr Catia Malvaso, University of Adelaide, Australia

Drawing on an inter-disciplinary program of research integrating criminological, psychological, and public health perspectives generating evidence needed to identify opportunities to prevent initiation, and reduce continuation, of offending behaviour among children who have experienced maltreatment and related adversities. It will illustrate how whole-of-population linked administrative data, augmented by in-depth, longitudinal cohort studies, can be used to provide a comprehensive understanding of maltreatment-offending pathways in a way that places the goal of prevention at the forefront. It is proposed that this can be achieved by the following three key stages of evidence generation: 1) Describe maltreatment-offending associations; 2) Predict which children who experience maltreatment will subsequently offend; and 3) Estimate the causal effect of child maltreatment on offending behaviour, including the investigation of potential mediators of this effect. This type of research has been and continues to be crucial in identifying key opportunities along these pathways to target preventive interventions. However, simply generating evidence will not be enough to influence the development of prevention and intervention strategies. We also need to also synthesise, translate, and evaluate evidence – and work in close partnership with government and community stakeholders – in order to inform and sustain preventative investments.


Dr Catia Malvaso is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Psychology and School of Public Health at the University of Adelaide. Her research is informed by an interdisciplinary perspective spanning psychology, public health and criminology. She leads a program of research which aims to identify prevention and early investment opportunities to disrupt pathways from maltreatment to offending behaviour. In 2020, Catia was awarded an Early Career Researcher Prize from the American Society of Criminology (Developmental and Life Course Criminology Division), and in 2021 a Tall Poppy Award for excellence in research achievement and community engagement from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science.            



Tuesday, 19 September, 2023 - 13:00 to 14:00
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