Emotional and behavioral sequelae of childhood maltreatment

Francheska Perepletchikova, Joan Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: To summarize research on the emotional and behavioral consequences of childhood maltreatment published between January 2009 and April 2010. Recent Finddings: Many studies published during this time frame replicated prior research studies that have shown that childhood maltreatment is a nonspecific risk factor for a range of different emotional and behavioral problems. Two research groups highlighted the high revictimization rate among abused girls, with more than one in five abused girls found to have subsequent experiences of rape by young adulthood. The association between physical and sexual abuse and subsequent perpetration of violence toward self and other was also demonstrated, with one study noting the particular vulnerability of sexually abused boys to these negative outcomes. In this study, sexually abused boys had a 15-fold increased risk of making a suicide attempt, and a 45-fold increased risk of perpetrating domestic violence. A three-generation longitudinal study of the intergenerational transmission of abuse is also highlighted in the review, together with emerging findings on genetic and environmental risk and protective factors associated with variability in child outcomes. Summary: Maltreated children are at-risk for a host of negative outcomes. Although marked gains have been made in treating trauma-related psychopathology, these recent studies highlight the need to examine long-term outcomes of youths who have received state-of-the-art evidence-based interventions, and determine if there is a need for more comprehensive and sustained intervention approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-615
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • child abuse
  • childhood maltreatment
  • emotional and behavioral problems
  • sequelae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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