Developmental trajectories of behavior problems among children who have experienced maltreatment: Heterogeneity during early childhood and ecological predictors

Jiyoung K. Tabone, Neil B. Guterman, Alan J. Litrownik, Howard Dubowitz, Patricia Isbell, Diana J. English, Desmond K. Runyan, Richard Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The current study is a longitudinal investigation of unobserved heterogeneity in the developmental trajectories of problem behaviors among children who have experienced maltreatment. The goal of this study is to inform effective intervention plans with respect to behavior problems of maltreated children by examining the different trajectories of behavior problems and by assessing ecological risk factors related to each trajectory. This study utilized data from the Longitudinal Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, in which 827 maltreated children have been followed from age 4 to age 10. This study identified five distinctive developmental trajectories of maltreated children. In most trajectory groups, a specific set of ecological risk factors distinctively predicted the probability of membership in a specific group. The results are discussed with respect to individualized early intervention efforts toward those most likely to benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-216
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011



  • ecological factors
  • externalizing
  • maltreatment
  • trajectories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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