Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Alison Clabaugh

Abstract

Childhood maltreatment (CM) is a phenomenon that impacts many, and has the ability to create lingering negative outcomes for people that experience it. CM comes in various forms. The three discussed throughout this paper are neglect, abuse and poly-victimization (experiencing more than one form of CM). Research has shown that people who experience CM have increased risk of falling into the cycle of violence. The cycle states that experiencing or being exposed to some form of violence as a child makes people more susceptible to perpetrate violence later in life. Research has also shown that someone impacted by CM may have an overall decreased psychological health, which may lead to specific mental health diagnoses. However, the route from CM to the negative outcomes of violence and decreased psychological well-being is not always linear. In order to infer causality there needs to be more attention focused on other factors that potentially mediate or moderate these relationships. The first purpose of the current research was to compile pre-existing research about the different types of CM and their outcomes. The second purpose was to explore the different mediators and moderators that influence or impact the relationship between CM and possible negative outcomes. After compiling research, results show that perpetration of violence and mental health diagnoses are two major outcomes of experiencing CM. Research also provides evidence for other factors working underneath the surface to aid in the relationship between CM and perpetration of violence as well as CM and mental health diagnoses.

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Violence and Mental Health: The Negative Outcomes of Childhood Maltreatment

Childhood maltreatment (CM) is a phenomenon that impacts many, and has the ability to create lingering negative outcomes for people that experience it. CM comes in various forms. The three discussed throughout this paper are neglect, abuse and poly-victimization (experiencing more than one form of CM). Research has shown that people who experience CM have increased risk of falling into the cycle of violence. The cycle states that experiencing or being exposed to some form of violence as a child makes people more susceptible to perpetrate violence later in life. Research has also shown that someone impacted by CM may have an overall decreased psychological health, which may lead to specific mental health diagnoses. However, the route from CM to the negative outcomes of violence and decreased psychological well-being is not always linear. In order to infer causality there needs to be more attention focused on other factors that potentially mediate or moderate these relationships. The first purpose of the current research was to compile pre-existing research about the different types of CM and their outcomes. The second purpose was to explore the different mediators and moderators that influence or impact the relationship between CM and possible negative outcomes. After compiling research, results show that perpetration of violence and mental health diagnoses are two major outcomes of experiencing CM. Research also provides evidence for other factors working underneath the surface to aid in the relationship between CM and perpetration of violence as well as CM and mental health diagnoses.

 
 

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