Early childhood aggression among child welfare involved children: The interplay between the type of child maltreatment and ecological protective factors

Susan Yoon, Erin Tebben, Guijin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study examined four types of maltreatment (i.e., physical, sexual, emotional, neglect) and ecological protective factors (i.e., child prosocial skills, parental warmth, parental well-being, neighborhood safety) as predictors of aggressive behavior among young children in the child welfare system. Further, this study explored interaction effects between maltreatment types and protective factors on early childhood aggression. Ordinary least squares (OLS) hierarchical multiple regression was performed on a sample of 499 children (ages 4–5) drawn from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW-I). Physical abuse was associated with higher levels of early childhood aggression whereas living in a neighborhood with fewer problems was associated with lower levels of aggression. Novel interaction effects also emerged; the protective effects of child prosocial skills and parental well-being on aggression were significantly stronger in emotionally abused children than in children who were not emotionally abused. The findings suggest that interventions that address both the type of maltreatment and ecological protective factors may be effective in reducing early childhood aggression among at-risk children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume81
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Child maltreatment
  • Child welfare
  • Early childhood aggression
  • Ecological protective factors

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