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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2003 Mar;32(1):106-17.

Social self-efficacy and behavior problems in maltreated and nonmaltreated children.

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  • 1Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester, 187 Edinburgh Street, Rochester, NY 14608, USA.


Investigated the relations among child maltreatment, children's social self-efficacy, and behavioral adjustment. Data were collected on 305 maltreated and 195 non-maltreated children from low-income families (ages 5 to 12 years) who were assessed on perceived social self-efficacy and evaluated by camp counselors on internalizing and externalizing symptomatology. Younger (< 8 years) maltreated children exhibited inflated levels of perceived self-efficacy in confictual peer interactions compared to younger nonmaltreated children. Younger maltreated children with higher levels of social self-efficacy showed significantly less internalizing behaviors compared to younger maltreated children with lower levels of social self-efficacy. For older children (> 8 years), regardless of maltreatment status, higher levels of perceived social self-efficacy in conflict situations were related to lower levels of internalizing symptomatology. The results are discussed as suggestive of the role of children's social self-efficacy as a protective factor in the link between maltreatment and internalizing symptomatology.

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