Child maltreatment and vulnerability to depression

Sheree L. Toth, Jody Todd Manly, Dante Cicchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


This investigation explored differences in depressive symptomatology among low-socioeconomic status children aged 7–12 years from abusive (N = 46), neglectful (N = 35), and nonmaltreating (N = 72) homes. Measures of aggression and self-esteem also were included. Children from abusive homes evidenced significantly more depressive symptomatology than children from either neglectful or nonmaltreating families. Additionally, children from physically abusive homes exhibited lower self-esteem than did nonmaltreated children. While significant differences among groups on aggression did not emerge, all groups evidenced higher levels of acting out behaviors than would be expected in a nonclinic group of children. Results were discussed in terms of the effects of physical abuse on depression and the importance of intervening to prevent the deleterious effects of abuse. Additionally, the impact of neglect and poverty status on the presence of aggression was discussed. © 1992, Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-112
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992


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