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Child Abuse Negl. 2011 Oct;35(10):876-86. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2011.08.001. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Variations in emotional abuse experiences among multiply maltreated young adolescents and relations with developmental outcomes.

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  • 1University of Southern California, School of Social Work, Los Angeles, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Based on the data obtained through Child Protective Services (CPS) case records abstraction, this study aimed to explore patterns of overlapping types of child maltreatment in a sample of urban, ethnically diverse male and female youth (n= 303) identified as maltreated by a large public child welfare agency.

METHODS:

A cluster analysis was conducted on data for 303 maltreated youth. The overall categorization of four types of abuse (i.e., physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect) was used to provide a starting point for clustering of the 303 cases and then the subtypes of emotional abuse were broken down in the clusters. The different clusters of child maltreatment were compared on the multiple outcomes such as mental health, behavior problems, self-perception, and cognitive development.

RESULTS:

In this study, we identified four clusters of child maltreatment experiences. Three patterns involved emotional abuse. One cluster of children experienced all four types. Different clusters were differentially associated with multiple outcome measures. In general, multiply-maltreated youth fared worst, especially when the cluster involved sexual abuse. Also, sex differences were found in these associations. Boys who experienced multiple types of maltreatment showed more difficulties than girls.

CONCLUSION AND PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

These results reiterate the importance of creating more complex models of child maltreatment. Children who have experienced various types of maltreatment are especially in need of more attention from professionals and resources should be allocated accordingly.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22018516
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3221462
Free PMC Article

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