The differential impacts of early physical and sexual abuse and internalizing problems on daytime cortisol rhythm in school-aged children

Dante Cicchetti, Fred A. Rogosch, Megan R. Gunnar, Sheree L. Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations

Abstract

The impact of early physical and sexual abuse (EPA/SA) occurring in the first 5 years of life was investigated in relation to depressive and internalizing symptomatology and diurnal cortisol regulation. In a summer camp context, school-aged maltreated (n = 265) and nonmaltreated (n = 288) children provided morning and late afternoon saliva samples on 5 consecutive days. Child self-report and adult observer reports of child internalizing and depressive symptoms were obtained. Children experiencing EPA/SA and high depressive or internalizing symptoms uniquely exhibited an attenuated diurnal decrease in cortisol, indicative of neuroendocrine dysregulation. These results were specific to EPA/SA rather than later onset physical or sexual abuse or early occurring neglect or emotional maltreatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-269
Number of pages18
JournalChild development
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The differential impacts of early physical and sexual abuse and internalizing problems on daytime cortisol rhythm in school-aged children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this