Child maltreatment and emergent personality organization: Perspectives from the five-factor model

Fred A. Rogosch, Dante Cicchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


The Five-Factor Model was used to examine personality organization in 211 six-year-old children (135 maltreated and 76 nonmaltreated). Longitudinal assessments were conducted at ages 7, 8, and 9. Six-year-old maltreated children exhibited lower agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience and higher neuroticism than did nonmaltreated children. Maltreated children also were more frequently represented in less adaptive personality clusters than were their nonmaltreated counterparts. A particularly vulnerable profile occurred predominantly among maltreated children and was related to experiencing both abuse and neglect. Child maltreatment and personality clusters were related to individual differences perceived by peers. Longitudinal stability of the personality dimensions also was assessed. At age nine, evidence was found for maintenance of the organization of the personality clusters obtained at age six and for continuity of maltreated children's personality liabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-145
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, the Spunk Fund, Inc., and the William T. Grant Foundation. We value the contributions of Drs. Michael Lynch, Jody Todd Manly, and Sheree Toth in the completion of this work.


  • Five-Factor model
  • Maltreatment
  • Peer relations
  • Personality development


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