Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 685–695 | Cite as

Adolescent Maltreatment and Risk Behaviors: A Comparison of Child Protective Service Reports and Youth Self-reports

  • Jiyoung K. TaboneEmail author


Adolescence is a critical period in the development of close peer-relationships and identity formation. The degree of harm experienced by the maltreatment can be amplified by the subjective meaning the adolescent victim ascribes. Assessing maltreatment experience on adolescent victims’ perspective is critical to understand their subsequent risk behaviors in addition to Child Protective Service (CPS) reports. The current study explores how youth risk behaviors are predicted by maltreatment experiences which occurred between the ages of 12 and 16 by two different maltreatment informants, adolescent self-report and CPS reports. The study included 694 adolescents who completed self-report of maltreatment questions and also had available CPS records from Longitudinal Study of Child Abuse and Neglect. The findings of the study suggest that there are significant differences in predicting youth risk behaviors between CPS reports and youth self-reports. Adolescents’ subjective appraisals of their maltreatment experiences independently contributed to the prediction of their risk behaviors. Addressing youth’s perception of maltreatment experiences through self-reports in addition to CPS reports has significant implication for understanding their risk behaviors and working with them in practice settings.


Adolescent maltreatment Youth self-report Risk behaviors Child Protective Services Multi-informants 



The author acknowledges the support and feedback from Richard Thompson, Ph.D., and Dianna English, Ph.D. in preparing the initial idea of this manuscript. The data used in this publication were made available by the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect, Cornell University and have been used with permission. Data from Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) were originally collected by the LONGSCAN Investigator Group, and funding for the project was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children, Youth, and Families to the LONSCAN consortium.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author has declared that she have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animal performed by the author.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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