This research was supported by funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA12903, DA17741) and the Spunk Fund Inc.
The Differential Impacts of Early Physical and Sexual Abuse and Internalizing Problems on Daytime Cortisol Rhythm in School-Aged Children
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2010
© 2010, Copyright the Author(s). Journal Compilation © 2010, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 81, Issue 1, pages 252–269, January/February 2010
How to Cite
Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F. A., Gunnar, M. R. and Toth, S. L. (2010), The Differential Impacts of Early Physical and Sexual Abuse and Internalizing Problems on Daytime Cortisol Rhythm in School-Aged Children. Child Development, 81: 252–269. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01393.x
- Issue published online: 4 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2010
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 (n = 265) and nonmaltreated (n = 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.