Social Support: A Mediator between Child Maltreatment and Developmental Outcomes
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The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship between child maltreatment, social support, and developmental outcomes in first-year college students. Participants were 202 undergraduate students (137 female, 65 male) who completed surveys at two time points: once before entering college and once during their first year of college. It was hypothesized that child maltreatment would predict poorer developmental outcomes in adolescence and early adulthood, but that social support would mediate this relationship. Results indicated that child maltreatment related negatively to developmental outcomes and to perceived social support; adolescent and young adult development related positively to perceived social support. In addition, a mediational model in which social support mediates child maltreatment and developmental outcomes was supported.
KEY WORDS:social support child maltreatment adolescent development transition to college child abuse
The authors would like to thank Toni Bisconti, Carolyn Mebert, and Ellen Cohn for their feedback on the manuscript.
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