Young men of Moroccan origin who are convicted of violent crimes are likely to have been beaten by their own parents as children, according to Tilburg university researchers in Tuesday’s Volkskrant.
Children of Moroccan origin are three times as likely as white Dutch children to be hit and physically abused by their parents and this, say researchers, plays an important role in their dominance in juvenile crime records.
The research focused on 500 Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch school pupils and juvenile deliquents.
One in five of the Dutch boys had been subjected to serious physical abuse at home, but for the Moroccan boys the figure was one in three. One in two Moroccan boys witnessed physical violence between their parents, compared with one in five of the Dutch youths.
The researchers said the reasons for the difference in home-based violence are complex, depending on family size, unemployment, lower socio-economic status and low parental education levels.
‘Families where there are more stress factors and worries are likely to involve more violence,’ research psychologist Esmah Lahlah told the Volkskrant.
Behavioural scientist Gonneke Stevens, who was not involved in the research, told the paper the findings are noteworthy. ‘The crime rate among Moroccan younsters is a multiple problem with many causes,’ said Stevens. ‘This makes it clear that domestic violence plays an important role.’