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Childhood maltreatment: The role of concurrent advantageous experiences on adolescents' psychosocial adjustment  

Published onAug 21, 2022
Childhood maltreatment: The role of concurrent advantageous experiences on adolescents' psychosocial adjustment  
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Childhood maltreatment: The role of concurrent advantageous experiences on adolescents' psychosocial adjustment
Description

Despite the growing body of evidence concerning the harmful effects of childhood maltreatment, intimate partner violence exposure (IPVE) and their correlates, little is currently known about the effects of co-occurring advantageous family conditions (e.g., instrumental support, inductive parenting, positive communication) and how they may serve to offset the detrimental effects of maltreatment and IPVE. The present study applied a three-step latent class analysis to identify the co-occurrence patterns of childhood maltreatment and advantageous family conditions among 1379 Spanish adolescents. The study also sought to identify the sociodemographic risk markers and psychosocial adjustment associated with each latent class membership. The analyses revealed four classes, namely (1) violent family context, (2) emotionally neglectful family context, (3) adverse and advantageous family conditions, and (4) positive family context. Having a lower socioeconomic status and being a migrant were both risk markers for membership to the violent family context as well as to the adverse and advantageous family conditions class. Adolescents who were exposed to advantageous family conditions (e.g., the positive family context or the adverse and advantageous family conditions) exhibited fewer psychosocial problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, somatisation) and lower frequencies of teen dating violence (TDV) when compared with those in the violent family context. Moreover, membership to the emotionally neglectful family context class was related to more psychological symptoms and a higher prevalence of TDV when compared with membership to the positive family context class, despite the absence of IPVE and maltreatment. Overall, the results provide evidence that advantageous family conditions contribute to better psychosocial adjustment on the part of adolescents even when exposed to IPV and maltreatment. Identifying the experiences that contribute to adolescents' psychosocial adjustment could help clinical and governmental interventions tailor their often-limited resources to children who are at greater risk of negative outcomes.

 

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