Article

A 12-Year Prospective Study of the Long-term Effects of Early Child Physical Maltreatment on Psychological, Behavioral, and Academic Problems in Adolescence

Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0545, USA.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.73). 09/2002; 156(8):824-30. DOI: 10.1001/archpedi.156.8.824
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

To determine whether child physical maltreatment early in life has long-term effects on psychological, behavioral, and academic problems independent of other characteristics associated with maltreatment.
Prospective longitudinal study with data collected annually from 1987 through 1999.
Randomly selected, community-based samples of 585 children from the ongoing Child Development Project were recruited the summer before children entered kindergarten in 3 geographic sites. Seventy-nine percent continued to participate in grade 11. The initial in-home interviews revealed that 69 children (11.8%) had experienced physical maltreatment prior to kindergarten matriculation.
Adolescent assessment of school grades, standardized test scores, absences, suspensions, aggression, anxiety/depression, other psychological problems, drug use, trouble with police, pregnancy, running away, gang membership, and educational aspirations.
Adolescents maltreated early in life were absent from school more than 1.5 as many days, were less likely to anticipate attending college compared with nonmaltreated adolescents, and had levels of aggression, anxiety/depression, dissociation, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, social problems, thought problems, and social withdrawal that were on average more than three quarters of an SD higher than those of their nonmaltreated counterparts. The findings held after controlling for family and child characteristics correlated with maltreatment.
Early physical maltreatment predicts adolescent psychological and behavioral problems, beyond the effects of other factors associated with maltreatment. Undetected early physical maltreatment in community populations represents a major problem worthy of prevention.

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Available from: Joseph C Crozier, Jan 11, 2015
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    • "There were no significant differences between boys and girls in the rates of psychological aggression and neglect. However, mothers were more likely to be reported to practice of psychological aggression and corporal punishment, which is consistent with previous findings (Lansford et al., 2002; Tang, 2006). Straus and Field (2003) also reported that in some regions of the U.S., mothers used more psychological aggression than fathers. "

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    • "However, our current findings should be interpreted with caution, because we did not directly examine the reciprocal parent–child interactional process across time due to the limitation of a cross-sectional design. Data from the ODD and non-ODD samples are somewhat inconsistent with previous research suggesting the negative impact of emotional and physical abuse on both emotional and behavioral problems (Lansford et al., 2002;Teicher et al., 2006). For both ODD and non-ODD groups, after controlling for demographic variables, we only found a significant impact of emotional abuse on anger management and a significant impact of physical abuse on aggressive behavior. "
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