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The association between childhood maltreatment, mental health problems, and aggression in justice-involved boys
Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Curium – Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands; Academic Workplace Forensic Care for Youth (Academische Werkplaats Forensische Zorg voor Jeugd), Zutphen, the Netherlands. (CAPS)
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Curium – Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands; Academic Workplace Forensic Care for Youth (Academische Werkplaats Forensische Zorg voor Jeugd), Zutphen, the Netherlands.
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
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2015 (English)In: Aggressive Behavior, ISSN 0096-140X, E-ISSN 1098-2337, Vol. 41, no 5, 488-501 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The link between childhood maltreatment and adolescent aggression is well documented; yet, studies examining potential mechanisms that explain this association are limited. In the present study, we tested the association between childhood maltreatment and adolescent aggression in boys in juvenile justice facilities (N = 767) and examined the contribution of mental health problems to this relationship. Data on childhood maltreatment, mental health problems, and aggression were collected by means of self-report measures and structural equation models were used to test mediation models. We found that mental health problems mediated the link between maltreatment and aggression. Results demonstrated different pathways depending on the type of aggression examined. The association between childhood maltreatment and reactive aggression was fully mediated by a variety of mental health problems and for proactive aggression the association was partially mediated by mental health problems. We also found that reactive and proactive aggression partially mediated the association between maltreatment and mental health problems. These findings suggest that a transactional model may best explain the negative effects of childhood trauma on mental health problems and (in particular reactive) aggression. In addition, our findings add to the existing evidence that reactive and proactive aggression have different etiological pathways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hoboken, USA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. Vol. 41, no 5, 488-501 p.
Keyword [en]
Aggression, childhood trauma, forensic, psychopathology, youth
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-44139DOI: 10.1002/ab.21586ISI: 000361808600009PubMedID: 25788428Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84925238837OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-44139DiVA: diva2:801163
Available from: 2015-04-08 Created: 2015-04-08 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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