Maltreatment experiences and depression in adolescents: The moderating effect of psychosocial functioning


Problem Statement: Depression is a serious health problem among adolescents, which may be associated with poor psychosocial functioning. Maltreatment is a risk factor for the development of depression in adolescence. Research Questions: The relationship between maltreatment and psychosocial functioning and the role that psychosocial functioning has in the relation between maltreatment and depressive symptomatology are underexplored in the literature.Purpose of the Study: The aims of this study are to explore the moderating effect of psychosocial functioning in the relationship between maltreatment experience and depressive symptomatology, and their relation to socio-demographic variables. The sample consists of 170 adolescents (between 14-17 years, mostly female). Research Methods: Two self-report questionnaires were used: the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (Bernstein, Fink, 2004 Pereira Matos, 2011) to evaluate the maltreatment experience and the Children’s Depression Inventory (Kovacs, 1992 Marujo, 1994) to measure the level of depression. To assess the psychosocial functioning of adolescents was applied the Adolescent Longitudinal Interval Follow-Up Evaluation (Matos Costa, 2011). Findings: As expected the maltreatment experience was associated with depressive symptomatology. Emotional abuse and neglect were the best predictors of depressive symptoms.Conclusions: These results emphasize the impact that maltreatment experiences can have on the development of depression among adolescents. This risk factor, mainly its emotional dimension, is an important variable to consider in the development of prevention and treatment programs for depression.

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03 August 2015

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Future Academy



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Child psychology, psychology, developmental psychology, psychological testing, psychological measurement, family psychology

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Gomes, A. S., Matos, A. P., Monteiro, S., & Mónico, L. (2015). Maltreatment experiences and depression in adolescents: The moderating effect of psychosocial functioning. In Z. Bekirogullari, & M. Y. Minas (Eds.), Cognitive - Social, and Behavioural Sciences - icCSBs 2015, August, vol 6. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 53-66). Future Academy.