Differential correlates of multi-type maltreatment among urban youth

Neurology: Child and Adult, PC, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA.
Child Abuse & Neglect (Impact Factor: 2.47). 04/2007; 31(4):393-415. DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2006.09.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to examine the differential effects of multi-types of maltreatment in an adolescent sample. Different combinations of maltreatment (emotional, sexual, physical, neglect) were examined in relation to both negative affect and externalizing symptoms in male and female youth.
One thousand four hundred fifty-two middle and high school youth were recruited from urban schools and a mandated early warning truancy program. Youth completed an anonymous survey that included measures of child maltreatment, depression, suicide proneness, hopelessness, delinquency, hostility, substance use, and promiscuity. Respondents were categorized into groups of different combinations of maltreatment by their reports of sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect (emotional and physical), and emotional abuse.
Nearly two-thirds of boys and girls reported some form of maltreatment, and multi-type maltreatment was common (e.g., 13% reported experiencing both physical and sexual abuse and neglect). Individuals with maltreatment histories were more depressed (F=52.78, p<.0001), suicide prone (F=24.29, p<.001), and hopeless (F=32.07, p<.0001) than non-abused individuals. Maltreated adolescents were also more hostile (F=35.03, p<.0001), and they engaged in more delinquent behavior (F=26.76, p<.0001), promiscuity (F=8.54, p<.0001), and drug and alcohol use (F=9.61, p<.0001). Individuals experiencing multi-type maltreatment were the most symptomatic, particularly youth with histories of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. In general, gender differences in effects were not observed.
The results highlight the importance of studying combined types of maltreatment, as well as understanding the particularly deleterious effects of neglect and emotional abuse. The results are generally consistent with an additive model of maltreatment effects.

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Available from: Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Apr 23, 2015
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    • "When the assailant in index sexualized activity is different from the assailant of earlier sexualized assaults, the index sexualized activity increases risk of psychological difficulties by increasing the number of assailants to whom the plaintiff has been exposed. Finally, risk for later psychological difficulties increases with increases in the number of different forms of maltreatment or trauma experienced by an individual (e.g., Arata et al., 2007; Finkelhor et al., 2007; Green et al., 2000; Higgins & McCabe, 2000; Kolassa et al., 2010; Richmond et al., 2007; Sledjeski et al., 2008; Suliman et al., 2009). For example, Suliman et al. found that adolescents exposed to multiple traumas were more likely to experience more severe PTSD and depression than those exposed to a single traumatic event, even after adjusting for other childhood adversity and stressful life experiences (Suliman et al., 2009). "
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    Psychological Injury and Law 03/2014; DOI:10.1007/s12207-014-9184-0
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    • "As a phenomenon in general, it has relatively recently become a subject of increased scientific attention, demonstrating insidious psychiatric outcomes, after checking for other forms of maltreatment (Kent et al., 1999; Spertus et al., 2003; Teicher et al., 2006). As different types of childhood maltreatment often coexist (Teicher et al., 2006) and additive effects of multi-type maltreatment may increase negative outcomes (Arata et al., 2007; Clemmons et al., 2003), inferences on their specific, independent effects on child abuse potential should be made cautiously, especially due to the possible underlying contribution of emotional abuse. The relative effects of all forms of maltreatment history on psychopathology in non-clinical population have recently been assessed (Keyes et al., 2012), in terms of latent liability dimensions and specific psychiatric disorders. "
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    • "The development of youth mental health symptoms, such as depression, conduct problems, and substance abuse, all of which have been associated with CM (e.g., Arata et al. 2007; Green et al. 1999; Moran et al. 2004; Wolfe et al. 2001), may also place a significant burden on families. "
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