These conceptual and methodological differences could create inconsistencies regarding the impact of maltreatment on psychological adjustment.
Effect of the Exposure to Maltreatment on Self-Esteem, Social Competence, Academic Performance and Peer Relationships
Analysis of the articles in this systematic review suggests that exposure to childhood maltreatment is associated with impairment in self-esteem (Arata et al.
Comparative studies that indicated statistically significant differences have specific methodological characteristics, such as the division of EG in individuals exposed to only one type of maltreatment and exposed to more than one type of maltreatment (poly-victims) (Soler et al.
Leeson and Nixon (2011) conducted an investigation on a clinical sample of 24 children who had been exposed to maltreatment.
Three of the studies reviewed, all of which conducted with children, did not find statistically significant differences between children with and without a history of maltreatment in terms of self-esteem (Hibbard et al.
The severity and chronicity of exposure to maltreatment seem to affect psychological adjustment results.
Kim and Cicchetti (2004), for instance, found that self-esteem mediates the link between the quality of the mother-child relationship and the impact of maltreatment upon social functioning.
Furthermore, individuals with a history of multi-type maltreatment presented worse self-esteem than individuals who did not suffer abuse or had a history of a single type of abuse.
Participants exposed to both types of violence in childhood reported lower self-esteem than those who did not experience maltreatment, or experienced a single type of it.
Children exposed to maltreatment presented significantly poorer academic performance than non-exposed peers (De Bellis et al.
As for peer relationships, children who suffered maltreatment displayed more elevated levels of rejection toward classmates, and lower levels of peer acceptance (Kim & Cicchetti, 2010).