Child maltreatment and adolescent mental health problems in a large birth cohort

Mills, R.,
Scott, J.,
Alati, R.,
O’Callaghan, M.,
Najman, J. M.,
Strathearn, L.
Published: May, 2013
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Child Abuse & Neglect
Volume: 37

Issue: 5

These authors examined whether notified child maltreatment is associated with adverse psychological outcomes in adolescence, and whether different types of maltreatment are associated with different patterns of psychological outcomes. The sample consisted of 7,223 mother-child pairs enrolled in a population-based birth cohort study in Australia. Child maltreatment data were obtained from the state child protection agency. The primary outcomes of interest were the internalizing and externalizing scales of the Youth Self Report (YSR) at about 14 years of age. The YSR was completed by 5,172 subjects, with increased attrition among cases of notified maltreatment. After adjusting for potential confounders, adolescents notified for suspected exposure to child maltreatment had higher rates of internalizing and externalizing behavior at 14 as compared with their non-maltreated peers. There was a strong association of multi-type maltreatment, particularly including neglect and emotional abuse, with adverse outcomes. Findings indicate that young people who are notified for more than one type of maltreatment are at particular risk for adolescent mental health problems. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: Ryan Mills, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, c/-Department of Paediatrics, Logan Hospital, P.O. Box 4096, Loganholme DC, Queensland 4129, Australia; Website:
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