Emotion Reactivity and Regulation in Maltreated Children: A Meta-Analysis

Iris Lavi, Lynn Fainsilber Katz, Emily J. Ozer, James J. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The many adverse effects of child maltreatment make the scientific investigation of this phenomenon a matter of vital importance. Although the relationship between maltreatment and problematic emotion reactivity and regulation has been studied, the strength and specificity of these associations are not yet clear. We examine the magnitude of the maltreatment—child-emotion reactivity/regulation link. Studies with substantiated maltreatment involving children aged up to 18 were included, along with a smaller number of longitudinal studies (58 papers reviewed, encompassing more than 11,900 children). In comparison to nonmaltreated children, maltreated children experience more negative emotions, behave in a manner indicative of more negative emotion, and display emotion dysregulation. We outline several theoretical implications of our results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1503-1524
Number of pages22
JournalChild Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Society for Research in Child Development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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