Physical Child Abuse and Adolescent Violent Delinquency: The Mediating and Moderating Roles of Personal Relationships.
Salzinger, Suzanne. Rosario, Margaret. Feldman, Richard S.
Published: August 2007
Vol. 12, No. 3 , p. 208-219
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Adolescent personal relationships with parents and peers are studied for their mediating and moderating roles in the effect of preadolescent physical abuse on adolescent violent delinquency. One hundred physically abused preadolescents and 100 matched nonabused classmates were studied at 10 and 16 years. Adolescent attachment to parents and verbal and physical abuse in relationships with parents during adolescence mediated between preadolescent abuse and later violent delinquency. Friends' delinquency in adolescence and verbal and physical abuse with best friends in adolescence moderated the relationship between early abuse and later violent delinquency. Low levels of delinquency among friends significantly decreased risk for violent delinquent outcome for abused as contrasted to nonabused adolescents. Abusive behavior with best friends exacerbated risk for violent delinquent outcome more for abused than for nonabused adolescents. Attachment to friends was not found to play a significant role in the relationship between childhood abuse and adolescent violent delinquency. (Author abstract)
physical abuse; adolescents; violence; attachment