This study examined the concurrent and longitudinal relations of mother-child relationship quality, self-esteem, social competence, and maladjustment among maltreated (n = 206) and nonmaltreated (n = 139) school-aged children from low-income families. Results of the path analysis using structural equation modeling revealed that maltreatment at Time 1 was related to internalizing and externalizing symptomatology at Time 1, both directly as well as indirectly, through its influence on social competence at Time 1. Regardless of maltreatment status, secure mother-child relationship quality was negatively related to internalizing symptomatology at Time 1 and to internalizing and externalizing symptomatology at Time 2 via its influence on self-esteem at Time 1. The results are discussed as suggestive of the role of self-esteem and social competence as mediating mechanisms in the link between relational risks and children's maladjustment.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
|Published - Aug 2004
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (K01-MH068491-01), the William T. Grant Foundation, the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Spunk Fund, Inc. The authors would like to thank Michael Lynch, Jody Todd Manly, and Robin Sturm for their contributions to coordinating the summer camp and Fred Rogosch and Sheree Toth for their helpful comments.
- mother-child relationship quality
- social competence