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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2010;39(1):25-34. doi: 10.1080/15374410903401104.

Child abuse and aggression among seriously emotionally disturbed children.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, USA.


Abused children may be at risk for problems with aggression. In a sample of 397 seriously emotionally disturbed children, reactive aggression was associated with documented history of physical abuse but not sexual abuse. Girls were equally likely to be classified as reactively aggressive regardless of physical abuse history, but boys with physical abuse histories were 50% more likely to be classified as reactively aggressive than boys with no physical abuse history. Proactive aggression was unrelated to physical or sexual abuse history. The association of physical abuse and reactive aggression warrants further scientific study and attention in clinical assessment and treatment with seriously emotionally disturbed children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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