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Indiscriminate Friendliness in Maltreated Foster Children

NCJ Number
Child Maltreatment Volume: 15 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2010 Pages: 64-75
Katherine C. Pears; Jacqueline Bruce; Philip A. Fisher; Hyoun K. Kim
Date Published
February 2010
12 pages
This study compared levels of indiscriminate friendliness in maltreated foster children and nonmaltreated children.
Indiscriminate friendliness is well documented in children adopted internationally following institutional rearing but is less studied in maltreated foster children. Precursors and correlates of indiscriminate friendliness were examined in 93 preschool-aged maltreated children residing in foster care and 60 age-matched, nonmaltreated children living with their biological parents. Measures included parent reports, official case record data, and standardized laboratory assessments. Foster children exhibited higher levels of indiscriminate friendliness than nonmaltreated children. Inhibitory control was negatively associated with indiscriminate friendliness even after controlling for age and general cognitive ability. Additionally, the foster children who had experienced a greater number of foster caregivers had poorer inhibitory control, which was in turn associated with greater indiscriminate friendliness. The results indicate a greater prevalence of indiscriminate friendliness among foster children and suggest the indiscriminate friendliness is part of a larger pattern of dysregulation associated with inconsistency in caregiving. Tables, figures, and references (Published Abstract)