SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

The impact of early physical and sexual abuse (EPA/SA) occurring in the first 5 years of life was investigated in relation to depressive and internalizing symptomatology and diurnal cortisol regulation. In a summer camp context, school-aged maltreated (= 265) and nonmaltreated (= 288) children provided morning and late afternoon saliva samples on 5 consecutive days. Child self-report and adult observer reports of child internalizing and depressive symptoms were obtained. Children experiencing EPA/SA and high depressive or internalizing symptoms uniquely exhibited an attenuated diurnal decrease in cortisol, indicative of neuroendocrine dysregulation. These results were specific to EPA/SA rather than later onset physical or sexual abuse or early occurring neglect or emotional maltreatment.