The purpose of the present study was to examine the associations between exposure to abuse and neglect and the social emotional adjustment of maltreated preschool children in out-of-home care. Using face-to-face interview, we examined children's representations of the mother-child relationship; perceptions of social interaction with peers; and self-esteem. In addition, teachers completed questionnaires tapping various aspects of the children's social behavior in preschool. The results demonstrated that compared to a control group, maltreated children had more distorted representations both in the context of the mother-child relationship and in the context of their relationships with peers. Additionally, teachers reported that maltreated children showed higher levels of maladjusted behavior in preschool. Teachers also reported that maltreated children had lower self-esteem than children in the control group. Interestingly, the difference between teacher's and child's reports on the child's self-esteem was significantly bigger in the risk group compared to the control group. The implications of the study are both theoretical and practical. From a theoretical standpoint, it shows the utility of a social information processing approach to the study of the effects of maltreatment in preschool children. From a clinical point of view, it supports intervention approaches with maltreated children that seek to change mental processes as an effective mean to change maladjusted behaviors.
|Title of host publication||Stress and Anxiety|
|Subtitle of host publication||Strategies, Opportunities, and Adaptations|
|Editors||K. Moore, P. Buchwald, F. N. Abu Alhija, M. Israelashvili|
|Place of Publication||Berlin|
|Publisher||Logos Verlag Berlin GmbH|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2016|