A longitudinal study of child maltreatment, mother-child relationship quality and maladjustment: The role of self-esteem and social competence

Jungmeen Kim, Dante Cicchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the concurrent and longitudinal relations of mother-child relationship quality, self-esteem, social competence, and maladjustment among maltreated (n = 206) and nonmaltreated (n = 139) school-aged children from low-income families. Results of the path analysis using structural equation modeling revealed that maltreatment at Time 1 was related to internalizing and externalizing symptomatology at Time 1, both directly as well as indirectly, through its influence on social competence at Time 1. Regardless of maltreatment status, secure mother-child relationship quality was negatively related to internalizing symptomatology at Time 1 and to internalizing and externalizing symptomatology at Time 2 via its influence on self-esteem at Time 1. The results are discussed as suggestive of the role of self-esteem and social competence as mediating mechanisms in the link between relational risks and children's maladjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-354
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (K01-MH068491-01), the William T. Grant Foundation, the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Spunk Fund, Inc. The authors would like to thank Michael Lynch, Jody Todd Manly, and Robin Sturm for their contributions to coordinating the summer camp and Fred Rogosch and Sheree Toth for their helpful comments.

Keywords

  • maladjustment
  • maltreatment
  • mother-child relationship quality
  • self-esteem
  • social competence

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