The co-occurrence of adverse childhood experiences among children investigated for child maltreatment: A latent class analysis

edit

By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Children investigated for maltreatment are particularly vulnerable to experiencing multiple adversities. Few studies have examined the extent to which experiences of adversity and different types of maltreatment co-occur in this most vulnerable population of children. Understanding the complex nature of childhood adversity may inform the enhanced tailoring of practices to better meet the needs of maltreated children. Using cross-sectional data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being II (N=5870), this study employed latent class analysis to identify subgroups of children who had experienced multiple forms of maltreatment and associated adversities among four developmental stages: birth to 23 months (infants), 2-5 (preschool age), 6-10 (school age), and 11-18 years-old (adolescents). Three latent classes were identified for infants, preschool-aged children, and adolescents, and four latent classes were identified for school-aged children. Among infants, the groups were characterized by experiences of (1) physical neglect/emotional abuse/caregiver treated violently, (2) physical neglect/household dysfunction, and (3) caregiver divorce. For preschool-aged children, the groups included (1) physical neglect/emotional abuse/caregiver treated violently, (2) physical neglect/household dysfunction, and (3) emotional abuse. Children in the school-age group clustered based on experiencing (1) physical neglect/emotional neglect and abuse/caregiver treated violently, (2) physical neglect/household dysfunction, (3) emotional abuse, and (4) emotional abuse/caregiver divorce. Finally, adolescents were grouped based on (1) physical neglect/emotional abuse/household dysfunction, (2) physical abuse/emotional abuse/household dysfunction, and (3) emotional abuse/caregiver divorce. The results indicate distinct classes of adversity experienced among children investigated for child maltreatment, with both stability across developmental periods and unique age-related vulnerabilities. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

Fahs-Beck Scholars

Meet the Scholars

Fahs-Beck Fellows

Meet the Fellows

News

Our grant programs are changing.

 

Learn more