DOI: 10.1002/smi.3300 ISSN:

Protective role of resilience on the associations between childhood maltreatment and internalising and externalising problems

Juan Cao, Xiaodan Xu, Xiaochen Man, Xuewei Fu, Zijiao Shen, Shuo Wang
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • General Medicine


Different types of childhood maltreatment have negative effects on individual mental and behavioural outcomes. However, most of previous studies investigated their effects separately. Little is known about the effects of co‐occurring maltreatment profiles on adolescents' developmental outcomes and the potential protective factor. The current study sought to identify distinct profiles of childhood maltreatment and examine the effects of profiles of childhood maltreatment on internalising and externalising problems and the protective role of resilience based on two‐wave longitudinal data, which was collected from a sample of 670 Chinese adolescents (Mage = 15.50, SDage = 0.75, 48.4% boys). Four profiles of childhood maltreatment, that is, No maltreatment (67.9%), High neglect (23.0%), High abuse and neglect/Low sexual abuse (5.0%), and Multi‐maltreatment (4.1%), were identified. Adolescents in High neglect, High abuse and neglect/Low sexual abuse, and Multi‐maltreatment profiles were more likely to report internalising and externalising problems. Further, significant moderating effects of resilience only emerged for the association between the High neglect profile and internalising problems, such that high levels of resilience may weaken the association between the High neglect profile and internalising problems. Our findings revealed the importance and utility of identifying maltreatment profiles to tailor treatment based on specific maltreatment experiences. Resilience‐oriented intervention could be considered for Chinese adolescents who have experienced high neglect.

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