Ecological influences on the sequelae of child maltreatment: A review of the literature

David S. Zielinski, Catherine P. Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerous studies indicate that child maltreatment increases the risk for the development of internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. Great variations in outcome, however, have been noted among victims of maltreatment. From an ecological perspective, this review examines how the effects of maltreatment may be influenced by the contexts in which children develop, including their families, peer groups, schools, and communities. The literature reviewed suggests that contextual factors not only influence the incidence of maltreatment but also may moderate its developmental effects, thereby accounting for some of the heterogeneity in the outcomes associated with abuse and neglect. Closer examination of the influence contextual factors exert on the psychosocial sequelae of maltreatment will better inform the interventions, treatments, and public policies directed toward the maltreated population. Methodological considerations for conducting research in this area are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-62
Number of pages14
JournalChild Maltreatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Child maltreatment
  • Context
  • Development
  • Human ecology
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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