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Child Abuse Negl. 2008 Jun;32(6):637-47. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2008.02.003. Epub 2008 Jun 25.

Effects of multiple maltreatment experiences among psychiatrically hospitalized youth.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, 101 Warren Street, Newark, NJ 07102, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Relying on indicators coded from information collected routinely during intake assessments at a secure inpatient psychiatric facility, this study examined the extent to which different forms of maltreatment accounted for variations in youths' emotional and behavioral problems.

METHODS:

Clinical information was reviewed for a large (N=401) and diverse sample (mean age=13.9 years; 53% male; 54.6% racial/ethnic minority) of youth admitted to a publicly funded psychiatric hospital. Data were drawn from intake narratives, standardized psychopathology rating scales, and psychiatric diagnostic ratings.

RESULTS:

Findings provide some support for a hierarchical classification of multiple maltreatment experiences with sexual abuse identified as the specific form of maltreatment most reliably associated with poor adjustment. Support also was obtained for a cumulative classification approach, as the number of different types of maltreatment experiences was linked positively to elevated psychopathology ratings.

CONCLUSIONS:

Even in this high-risk, atypical sample, maltreatment experiences account for variation in levels of psychopathology. These results have implications for classifying multiple maltreatment and enhancing clinical care for atypical youth who have been maltreated.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Clinicians working in youth psychiatric populations should implement maltreatment-specific psychotherapy approaches for maltreated youth, even as adjunctive treatments in a therapeutic milieu.

PMID:
18582936
PMCID:
PMC2581753
DOI:
10.1016/j.chiabu.2008.02.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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