Peer Relationships and Self-Esteem among Children Who Have Been Maltreated
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2008
Volume 69, Issue 4, pages 1171–1197, August 1998
How to Cite
Bolger, K. E., Patterson, C. J. and Kupersmidt, J. B. (1998), Peer Relationships and Self-Esteem among Children Who Have Been Maltreated. Child Development, 69: 1171–1197. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1998.tb06166.x
- Issue published online: 16 SEP 2008
- Article first published online: 16 SEP 2008
A prospective longitudinal design was employed to assess risks associated with maltreatment in a representative community sample of 107 maltreated children and an equal number of nonmaltreated comparison children. Heightened difficulties in peer relationships and self-esteem were associated with greater severity and chronicity of maltreatment. For example, children who experienced chronic maltreatment were less well-liked by peers. Type of maltreatment was also related to specific aspects of children's adjustment. For instance, sexual abuse predicted low self-esteem, but not problems in peer relationships. Emotional maltreatment, on the other hand, was related to difficulties in peer relationships, but not to low self-esteem. Thus, the best predictions of specific aspects of children's adjustment were provided by considering timing, type, and severity of maltreatment. For some groups of maltreated children, having a good friend was associated with improvement over time in self-esteem.