Influence of Childhood Maltreatment Severity on Aggressive Behavior Outcomes
Childhood maltreatment contributes to a vast array of mental and behavioral health problems in youth. Children who are victims of childhood maltreatment are at an increased risk of engaging in aggressive behavior. This results in poor school relationships, suspensions, and increased risk of later juvenile offending. Aggressive behavior can be categorized by function: proactive and reactive. It is still unknown how the level of severity of childhood maltreatment influences later functions and overall levels of aggression in young adulthood. In the current study two groups were examined: non-offenders and offenders. The present study used multiple correlations for an exploratory analysis into the relationship between self-reported maltreatment severity and later self-reported functions of aggression. Additionally, multiple hierarchical regressions were used to examine the differences in the influence of severity on later aggressive outcomes between non-offenders and offenders. Forty-eight students from East Carolina University and 51 probationers in North Carolina participated in the study. Participants completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) to assess the level of severity experienced across emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Second, they completed the Reactive Proactive Questionnaire (RPQ) to assess the level of current functions of aggression and overall aggression. Correlational analyses were run separately for each group, non-offenders and offenders. In the non-offender population, emotional abuse severity was positively correlated with proactive aggression. In the offender population, emotional abuse severity was positively correlated with proactive aggression, reactive aggression, and overall total aggression. In the offender population, physical abuse was positively correlated with proactive aggression and reactive aggression, and the overall aggression reported. Sexual abuse severity was not significantly related to aggression in either subsample, although it was reported at a low rate of occurrence. Results of the first regression analysis with the young adult offender subsample revealed that childhood maltreatment severity was a significant predictor of later aggressive behavior above and beyond SES and sex. For the young adult non-offender subsample, maltreatment severity was not a predictor of aggressive behavior. The results suggest that severity has a unique impact on the level of aggression exhibited. Additionally, the results reflect that childhood maltreatment can have a substantial impact on individual's later aggressive behaviors.
Louloudis, Lauren. (July 2017). Influence of Childhood Maltreatment Severity on Aggressive Behavior Outcomes (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6331.)
Louloudis, Lauren. Influence of Childhood Maltreatment Severity on Aggressive Behavior Outcomes. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, July 2017. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6331. April 19, 2021.
Louloudis, Lauren, “Influence of Childhood Maltreatment Severity on Aggressive Behavior Outcomes” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, July 2017).
Louloudis, Lauren. Influence of Childhood Maltreatment Severity on Aggressive Behavior Outcomes [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; July 2017.
East Carolina University