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Untangling the Relative Contribution of Maltreatment Severity and Frequency to Type of Behavioral Outcome in Foster Youth

NCJ Number
Child Abuse and Neglect Volume: 38 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2014 Pages: 1147-1159
Yo Jackson; Joy Gabrielli; Kandace Fleming; Angela M. Tunno; P. Kalani Makanui
Date Published
July 2014
13 pages
This study examined how each component of the most commonly identified dimensions of maltreatment were predictive of mental health outcomes in youth.
This study the predictive ability of each component of the most commonly identified dimensions of maltreatment found that the paths from severity to externalizing behavior and adaptive behavior were significantly related and that the paths from frequency of abuse were not predictive of behavioral outcome. The primary goal of this study was to identify and test the potential unique role of type, frequency, and severity of maltreatment in a sample of adolescents to determine each variable's role in predicting outcome behavior. Data for the study were obtained from a sample of 309 youth (age 8-22) in foster care and their caregivers in a large city in the Midwest. The Modified Maltreatment Classification System and the Behavioral Assessment System for Children, 2nd Edition were used to measure maltreatment exposure and behavioral outcomes, respectively, among the youth and their caregivers. A confirmatory factor analysis was also completed to determine the unique contributions from frequency and severity of maltreatment across four types of abuse to externalizing, internalizing, and adaptive behavior. The findings from the study indicate that exposure to maltreatment leads to negative externalizing and adaptive behaviors among adolescents. These findings are similar to those of other studies that have examined the complex relationship between behavioral outcomes and experiences of maltreatment in adolescent youth. Study limitations and directions for future research are discussed. Tables, figure, and references