Mental Health, Child Maltreatment and Adaptive Behavior Outcomes Exposure to maltreatment is a pervasive major life event and a tremendous mental health risk for children. For maltreated children placed in foster care, the risk for pathology is especially significant and understanding the pathways to positive outcomes for the foster-care population is crucial. Using a transactional model of stress and coping, wherein the mutual relationships among key personal and environmental variables operate to predict outcomes, this project addresses how children exposed to maltreatment and foster care display positive adjustment.
The aims for the study are to (a) longitudinally examine the roles of resources, context, and appraisal of major life events in predicting adaptive behavior of children exposed to maltreatment living in foster care, and (b) determine the relative importance of appraisal on coping style for producing adaptive behavior. The results of this project will inform the literature on stress and coping by testing a theoretical model of the relations in a sample of children in foster care. This research will clarify our basic-science need to understand the relation between experiencing maltreatment, living in foster care, and mental health outcomes and our intervention-minded awareness of possible mechanisms for resilience and positive adjustment.

Public Health Relevance

The study tests how resilience develops in children exposed to maltreatment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes Study Section (SPIP)
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Garriock, Holly A
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University of Kansas Lawrence
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Jackson, Yo; Cushing, Christopher C; Gabrielli, Joy et al. (2016) Child Maltreatment, Trauma, and Physical Health Outcomes: The Role of Abuse Type and Placement Moves on Health Conditions and Service Use for Youth in Foster Care. J Pediatr Psychol 41:28-36
Gabrielli, Joy; Hambrick, Erin P; Tunno, Angela M et al. (2015) Longitudinal Assessment of Self-Harm Statements of Youth in Foster Care: Rates, Reporters, and Related Factors. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 46:893-902
Jackson, Yo; Gabrielli, Joy; Fleming, Kandace et al. (2014) Untangling the relative contribution of maltreatment severity and frequency to type of behavioral outcome in foster youth. Child Abuse Negl 38:1147-59
Hambrick, Erin P; Tunno, Angela M; Gabrielli, Joy et al. (2014) Using Multiple Informants to Assess Child Maltreatment: Concordance Between Case File and Youth Self-Report. J Aggress Maltreat Trauma 23:751-771
Jackson, Yo; Gabrielli, Joy; Tunno, Angela M et al. (2012) Strategies for Longitudinal Research with Youth in Foster Care: A Demonstration of Methods, Barriers, and Innovations. Child Youth Serv Rev 34:1208-1213
Geldhof, G John; Little, Todd D (2011) Influences of children's and adolescents' action-control processes on school achievement, peer relationships, and coping with challenging life events. New Dir Child Adolesc Dev 2011:45-59