Mental Health and Behavioral Outcomes of Sexual and Nonsexual Child Maltreatment Among Child Welfare-Involved Youth.

Academic Article


  • Our research team used the nationally representative National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being II to explore the differences in mental health and behavioral outcomes between children who enter the child welfare system with substantiated sexual abuse and those who enter with exclusively nonsexual maltreatment. The sample included 380 children between the ages of 8 to 17.5 who were substantiated for maltreatment (sexual and nonsexual) and had the same caregivers at both wave 1 and 2 (n = 380). Results show that the average age of children in the sample was 11 years old, and the results corroborate literature that has indicated children and youth with histories of childhood sexual abuse experience significantly more post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms than children with histories of nonsexual maltreatment. This finding held after controlling for baseline trauma symptoms and all covariates, including race, age, placement type, and caregiver characteristics. Childhood sexual abuse was not significantly related to an increase in behavioral symptoms after controlling for covariates. Implications for research and practice are offered.
  • Authors

  • O'Brien, Jennifer
  • White, Kevin
  • Wu, Qi
  • Killian-Farrell, Candace
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • July 2016
  • Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Child Abuse
  • Child Behavior
  • Child Welfare
  • Crime Victims
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • adolescents
  • behaviors
  • child welfare
  • children
  • mental health
  • sexual abuse
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 27294412
  • Start Page

  • 483
  • End Page

  • 503
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 5