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Psychiatric diagnoses of maltreated children: preliminary findings.

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  • 1Boston Juvenile Court, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.


The study sample consists of 96 children (61 maltreated, 35 controls) between 5 and 10 years of age. The two groups of subjects were compared on diagnoses as determined by the administration of the Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents, Revised 6th Version (DICA-6-R) as well as clinical DSM-III-R diagnoses. Children who had suffered maltreatment exhibited significantly greater incidences of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder diagnoses than did controls, on both child and parent DICA interviews. The children's interviews revealed that maltreated children present with a significant incidence of psychotic symptomatology as well as personality and adjustment disorders. Conversely, conduct and mood disorders emerged as significant factors in the parent interviews, with the maltreated group showing significantly greater incidence of these diagnoses.

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