The link between child abuse and neglect and later problems has been addressed in many studies. An Institute of Medicine report1 reviewed child abuse and neglect outcomes and documented a broad range of deleterious effects on health, mental health, antisocial behavior, and social and economic functioning. The studies reviewed had varying degrees of methodical rigor; prospective studies with control groups of nonabused children are most likely to definitively answer the important questions.
Berliner L. Why It Matters to Know the Relationship Between Child Abuse and Neglect and Sexual Offending. JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(1):e143365. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.3365