Longterm Consequences of Child Maltreatment

  • Cathy Spatz Widom
Part of the Child Maltreatment book series (MALT, volume 2)


Over the past three decades, considerable progress has been made in understanding the long-term consequences of childhood victimization. Using a schematic modified ecological model to organize this chapter, the first part reviews the literature on the “cascade of consequences of childhood maltreatment” across multiple domains of functioning, including cognitive and academic, social and behavioral, psychiatric and emotional, and physical health and neurobiological. Where possible, consequences for specific types of childhood maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect) are described. Because the negative effects of childhood maltreatment are not inevitable, the next section describes research on protective factors that may buffer maltreated children from succumbing to negative consequences. The next section discusses the important role that contextual factors play in influencing the development of children. Finally, there is a discussion of the challenges to the field and a brief section on gaps in knowledge and suggestions for future research.


Sexual Abuse Child Maltreatment Childhood Sexual Abuse Physical Abuse Young Adulthood 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology Department, John Jay College and Graduate CenterCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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