Decades of research have demonstrated the detrimental influence that childhood maltreatment has on various aspects of child development and it is important to gain a more complete understanding of the developmental pathways that confer risk for or protection from adverse outcomes. To examine this, the aim of the first study is to determine whether adolescent revictimization mediates the relationship between maltreatment and adolescent psychopathology and substance use. The second study examines whether the quality of relationships with close friends mediates the relationship between child maltreatment and adolescent revictimization, psychopathology, and substance use. Participants were 545 (295 maltreated, 250 non-maltreated) racially diverse (52.8% Black, 27.5% White, 12.8% Bi-racial) children and their families who participated in a weeklong summer camp in middle childhood (mean age= 7.6 years). They were followed up twice in early-mid adolescence (mean age = 13.8 years) and mid-late adolescence (mean age = 16.2 years). Maltreatment was coded using Department of Human Services records. Psychopathology, substance use, revictimization, and friendship quality were assessed using adolescent self-report questionnaires. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze cross-lagged panel mediation models that allowed for examination of main effects, cross-lagged effects, and mediation simultaneously. Results of Study 1 revealed that revictimization occurring between early-mid and mid-late adolescence did not mediate the relationship between maltreatment and mid-late adolescent psychopathology or substance use. However, revictimization strongly and significantly predicted these outcomes whereas maltreatment was weakly related to psychopathology and unrelated to substance use. Results highlight the importance of further examining the mechanisms by which revictimization increases risk for psychopathology and substance use and whether the relationship between maltreatment and adverse outcomes is attenuated when later victimization is accounted for. Results for Study 2 demonstrated that relationship quality with close friends in early-mid adolescence did not mediate the relationship between maltreatment and later adolescent revictimization, psychopathology, or substance use. Furthermore, friendship quality was actually unrelated to maltreatment and each of the outcomes examined. Results suggest the critical need for future research to seek greater understanding of the unique nature of maltreated children’s friendships and the specific ways they may protect from, or even increase risk for, negative outcomes.
Brown, Michelle Patrice.
Developmental Pathways from Childhood Maltreatment to Adolescent Psychopathology, Substance Use, and Revictimization.
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