Date of Award
Child abuse and neglect occur at high rates across the United States, with about one out of every seven children having experienced maltreatment in the past year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Child maltreatment has been associated with a variety of negative outcomes such as developmental difficulties (Hildyard & Wolfe, 2002; Johnson et al., 2002), risky sexual behaviors (Harr et al., 2013; Haydon, Hussey, & Halpern, 2011; Maniglio, 2009; Thompson et al., 2016), criminal behavior (Edinburgh, Pape-Babolil, Harpin, & Saewyc, 2014; Higgins, Ricketts, Griffith, & Jirard, 2013; Makarios, 2007), long-term health problems (Maniglio, 2009; Trickett, Negriff, Ji, & Peckins, 2011), and decreased quality of future relationships (Colman & Widom, 2004; Maniglio, 2009; Trickett et al., 2011). Previous literature has attempted to identify risk factors for childhood trauma as well as subsequent symptomology, but much remains to be understood. The present study examined differences between children referred to a Child Advocacy Center in 2016 and 2017. Results showed a significant increase in the amount of trauma experienced as well as the severity of symptoms in 2017 compared to 2016. However, this study was unable to identify unique predictors of the differing outcomes. There is potential for future research examining factors such as parental substance use, perpetuation of trauma within a foster care setting, and a large-scale, more representative study examining risk factors for experiencing trauma during childhood.
Coffey, Hannah, "Childhood Trauma: An Analysis of Trauma Severity, Symptoms, and Contributing Factors within a Child Advocacy Center" (2019). Munn Scholars Awards. 3.