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A Prospective Investigation of the Relationship Between Child Maltreatment and Indicators of Adult Psychological Well-Being

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The study of psychological well-being will advance understanding of child maltreatment effects and resilience processes. In this study, the mean level of anger in adulthood was significantly higher for those identified three decades earlier as having been maltreated. Mean levels of self-esteem, autonomy, purpose in life, perceived (fewer) constraints, and happiness and satisfaction were lower for those who were maltreated according to child welfare reports. Officially recorded child maltreatment was moderately (r < .30) correlated with several psychological well-being indicators and predictive of adult anger, self-esteem, autonomy, and happiness/life satisfaction after accounting for childhood socioeconomic status (SES), gender, and other sources of data on child abuse and neglect. Parent-reported abusive disciplining also uniquely predicted several outcomes, as did a measure of observed child neglect to a lesser extent.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2012

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2014 Impact Factor is 0.858.
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