Social self-efficacy and behavior problems in maltreated and nonmaltreated children

Jungmeen Kim, Dante Cicchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Investigated the relations among child maltreatment, children's social self-efficacy, and behavioral adjustment. Data were collected on 305 maltreated and 195 non-maltreated children from low-income families (ages 5 to 12 years) who were assessed on perceived social self-efficacy and evaluated by camp counselors on internalizing and externalizing symptomatology. Younger (<8 years) maltreated children exhibited inflated levels of perceived self-efficacy in conflictual peer interactions compared to younger nonmaltreated children. Younger maltreated children with higher levels of social self-efficacy showed significantly less internalizing behaviors compared to younger maltreated children with lower levels of social self-efficacy. For older children (>8 years), regardless of maltreatment status, higher levels of perceived social self-efficacy in conflict situations were related to lower levels of internalizing symptomatology. The results are discussed as suggestive of the role of children's social self-efficacy as a protective factor in the link between maltreatment and internalizing symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-117
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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