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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200930 Find in a Library
Title: Maltreatment and Family Dysfunction in Childhood and the Subsequent Adjustment of Children and Adults
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:18  Issue:2  Dated:April 2003  Pages:107-120
Author(s): Daryl J. Higgins; Marita P. McCabe
Editor(s): Vincent B. Van Hasselt; Michel Hersen
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper presents findings from three studies that examined the adjustment problems associated with sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological maltreatment and neglect, and witnessing family violence during childhood.
Abstract: Three studies and their findings are presented in order to assess the validity of findings from earlier studies and evaluate the role of childhood family background factors and the experience of five different types of maltreating behaviors during childhood on adjustment using two different versions of the Comprehensive Child Maltreatment Scales for Parents, and for Adults. Study 1 explored the relationship between maltreatment, family environment, and the adjustment among children and to assess the validity of a previous study. Study 2 investigated the relationship between child maltreatment, family environment, and adjustment in an adult population and assessed the validity of a previous study. Lastly, Study 3 examined the relationship between child maltreatment, childhood family environment, and current adaptive functioning. Results from the three studies support the proposal that particular types of child maltreatment are unlikely to occur in isolation. It is likely that a child will experience multiple forms of maltreatment, and psychological maltreatment which is likely to be present in many of these maltreatment situations. The longer term, psychological maltreatment, and to a lesser extent neglect, seemed to be associated with both adjustment problems and positive aspects of growth and development in adulthood. Family environment in childhood was also associated with adjustment for both children and adult respondents. Divorce was the major variable associated with adjustment in childhood. The results from these studies confirm earlier results that a dysfunctional family in childhood is a strong predictor of adjustment in childhood, as well as among adults who experience child maltreatment. References
Main Term(s): Long term health effects of child abuse
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse; Child emotional abuse and neglect; Family crisis; Family histories; Family structure; Home environment; Parent-Child Relations; Parental influence; Psychological victimization effects
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