Psychosocial Characterization of Physically Abused Children from Low Socioeconomic Households in Comparison to Neglected and Nonmaltreated Children

Ricky Finzi, Dov Har-Even, Dan Shnit, Abraham Weizman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research reports on the long-term sequelae of physically abused children have not produced a coherent profile that can be used to identify this population as a distinct diagnostic group. To define the specific combination of symptomatology and personality characteristics of this group, 41 physically abused children, referred by the state Child Protection Officers were interviewed using the Attachment Style Classification Questionnaire, the Children's Depression Inventory, the Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Child Suicidal Potential Scales. The results were compared with those of 38 neglected children and 35 nonabused, nonneglected children. The physically abused children showed an avoidant attachment style, specific depressive and suicidal symptomatology, high anxiety level, high aggression level, and primitive defense mechanisms. A discriminant data analysis identified 92.8% of the participants in terms of their diagnostic status. Our study suggests that an emotional and behavioural cluster of characteristics may differentiate physically abused childrenfrom neglected and nonmaltreated children. This cluster highlights the severity of induced developmental damages in the short and long-term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-453
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Characteristic symptoms
  • Personality characteristics
  • Physically abused children

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