The prospective contribution of childhood maltreatment to low self-worth, low relationship quality, and symptomatology across adolescence: A developmental-organizational perspective

Megan Flynn, Dante Cicchetti, Fred Rogosch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research investigated the prospective contribution of childhood maltreatment to low self-worth, low relationship quality, and symptoms during adolescence. Further, the stability and cross-lagged effects of these sequelae of maltreatment were examined over time. History of maltreatment during childhood was obtained, and youth (407 maltreated, 228 nonmaltreated; 376 males, 259 females) completed 2 subsequent assessments spaced approximately 2 years apart during early-mid and mid-late adolescence. As anticipated, childhood maltreatment experiences predicted low self-worth, low relationship quality, and both internalizing and externalizing symptoms in early-mid adolescence. Beyond the stability paths of each outcome variable, significant cross-lagged effects were observed among low self-worth, low relationship quality, and internalizing symptoms across adolescence. In contrast, cross-lagged effects were not observed among adolescent externalizing symptoms. These findings support a developmental-organizational model in which childhood maltreatment creates multiple vulnerabilities that evince continuity and generate mutually influencing effects across adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2165-2175
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume50
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

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