This longitudinal study examines a conceptual model linking neglect and children's emotional and self-evaluative behavior to subsequent behavior problems It expands our current work by examining how neglect affects children's emotions and cognitions and ultimately, behavioral outcomes. Because this work focuses exclusively on neglect, we will be able to assess whether particular forms or patterns of neglect are related differentially to children's emotions and behavior. Differences in children's shame, pride, and negative self-blaming cognitions following failure are likely to be affected by neglect because certain forms of neglect may result in feelings of rejection and shame. Emotions and self-blaming cognitions are hypothesized to serve as mediators between neglect and subsequent outcomes. Continuing neglect, other subsequent maltreatment, as well as other risk factors will also be assessed. The goals of the study are to examine children's emotional responses and self-evaluations as a function of initial neglect status and continued risk in relation to both concurrent and subsequent behavior problems including low self-esteem, depression, and internalizing and externalizing behaviors. ? ? The sample consists of 280 children and their mothers. One-hundred and sixty of them will have a substantiated history of negleThe 80 non-neglected children will have no history of any form of maltreatment at the time of enrollment and will be similar to the neglected group on major demographic variables. The children will be evenly divided into two age groups. The younger cohort will be 4-years-old at the time of enrollment and the older cohort will be 6-years-old. All participants will be followed for four years. Parenting risk, including measures of continued neglect and other forms of maltreatment, observation of negative parental interactions, and attitudes toward punishment will be assessed. Children's emotional behavior and self-blaming cognitions on experimenter-controlled tasks will be obtained. In addition, mothers and children will be observed in other situations as they interact around the child's completing a difficult task. The quality of maternal behavior will be quantified and combined with other measures of parenting risk. Results from this project will provide information important in identifying those neglected children at greatest risk and assist in targeting intervention efforts toward changing children's emerging emotion-attribution styles as well as those parenting patterns that promote maladaptive behavior.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-4 (02))
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Boyce, Cheryl A
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University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Berzenski, Sara R; Bennett, David S; Marini, Victoria A et al. (2014) The Role of Parental Distress in Moderating the Influence of Child Neglect on Maladjustment. J Child Fam Stud 23:1325-1336
Sullivan, Margaret Wolan; Bennett, David S; Lewis, Michael (2013) Individual differences in the cortisol responses of neglected and comparison children. Child Maltreat 18:8-16
Bennett, David S; Sullivan, Margaret Wolan; Lewis, Michael (2010) Neglected children, shame-proneness, and depressive symptoms. Child Maltreat 15:305-14
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Carmody, Dennis P; Moreno, Rosanne; Mars, Audrey E et al. (2007) Brief report: brain activation to social words in a sedated child with autism. J Autism Dev Disord 37:1381-5
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Bennett, David S; Sullivan, Margaret Wolan; Lewis, Michael (2006) Relations of parental report and observation of parenting to maltreatment history. Child Maltreat 11:63-75
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