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04-10-2016 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2017

Relationships between Parental Maltreatment and Adolescents’ School Adjustment: Mediating Roles of Self-Esteem and Peer Attachment

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2017
Auteurs:
Yangmi Lim, Okin Lee

Abstract

Parental maltreatment of children has been steadily increasing in Korea despite national efforts to curb it. Children and adolescents who experience maltreatment develop psychological and social maladjustment. Therefore, mediating variables alleviating the negative effects of parental maltreatment on child development should be investigated to develop effective intervention programs. We identified the direct effects of parental abuse and neglect on adolescents’ school adjustment and the mediating effects of adolescents’ self-esteem and peer attachment on the relationships between parental abuse and neglect and their school adjustment. We used data from 2351 middle school students who participated in the Korean Children and Youth Panel Survey. Structural equation modeling revealed the following: child neglect directly and negatively related with adolescents’ school adjustment, whereas child abuse did not. Further, while adolescents’ self-esteem and peer attachment mediated the relationship between child neglect and school adjustment, adolescents’ self-esteem alone mediated the relationship between child abuse and school adjustment. These findings imply that there is a need to develop different intervention programs based on child maltreatment types. Finally, we suggested that the negative effects of parental neglect on adolescents’ school adjustment could be alleviated by adolescents’ self-esteem recovery resulting from peer support. On the other hand, in the case of adolescents experiencing parental abuse, self-esteem recovery through education and counseling provided by teachers or respected adults could be prioritized.

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