Connecting to God, Parents, and Self: The Effect of Moderators on the Relationship Between Child Maltreatment and Externalizing Behaviors, Bria Milicevic
This quantitative study investigated the association between timing and severity of physical maltreatment and later externalizing behaviors among youth, in addition to possible moderators of this relationship. The study included 132 male and 105 female children involved with the Consortium for Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) project. These participants experienced physical abuse prior to age 4, between 4 and 12-years-old, or during both timeframes. Severity of abuse was also assessed. Parental caring and emotional support, competence, and religiosity were analyzed as moderators of the hypothesized relationship between physical abuse and later externalizing behaviors. Regression analysis revealed no significant differences between timing and severity of physical abuse and later externalizing behaviors at age 12 among the participants. However, the results did reveal a pattern between timing and severity of physical abuse, indicating increased severity levels among participants abused during 0- to 4-years old and during both timeframes. Parental caring and emotional support, competence, and religiosity did not demonstrate any moderation effect on outcomes among the participants. Suggestions for future research and ideas for clinical implication are presented.
KEY WORDS: child maltreatment, physical child abuse, delinquency, aggression, externalizing behaviors, emotional support, competence, religiosity.