Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 1–11

Depressive characteristics of physically abused children

  • Denise M. Allen
  • Kenneth J. Tarnowski


Physically abused and nonabused children were compared on child-completed measures of depression, hopelessness, self-esteem, and locus of control. Results indicated that, in comparison with nonabused controls, abused children evidenced more depressive symptoms, heightened externality, lower self-esteem, and greater hopelessness about the future. Group differences in depressive symptomatology were not accounted for on the basis of differences in age, sex, race, gender, IQ, or socioeconomic status. Results replicate the results of Kazdin, Moser, Colbus, and Bell (1985) derived from a sample of physically abused psychiatric inpatients and extend the generality of these findings to abused children of nonpatient status. Implications of the findings for clinical interventions, theoretical models of child depression, and future research are discussed.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denise M. Allen
    • 1
  • Kenneth J. Tarnowski
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOhio State UniversityColumbus
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsCase Western Reserve University and Cleveland Metropolitan General HospitalCleveland

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