U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Emotional Maltreatment and Verbal Victimization in Childhood: Relation to Adults' Depressive Cognitions and Symptoms

NCJ Number
Journal of Emotional Abuse Volume: 7 Issue: 2 Dated: 2007 Pages: 59-73
Brandon E. Gibb; Jessica S. Benas; Sarah E. Crossett; Dorothy J. Uhrlass
Date Published
15 pages
This study examined the relations among reports of negative childhood experiences, negative and positive automatic thoughts, and depressive symptoms in a cross-sectional study of young adults.
Results indicate that negative and positive automatic thoughts fully mediated the link between childhood emotional maltreatment and verbal victimization and young adults’ current depressive symptom levels. Specifically, it was found that victimization from both caretakers and peers was significantly more strongly related to negative than positive automatic thoughts. In addition, although victimization from both sources was independently related to negative automatic thoughts, only childhood emotional maltreatment was related to positive thoughts, once the overlap between the two forms of victimization was statistically controlled. These results extend previous examinations of developmental correlates of depressive cognitions by suggesting that the negative effects of emotional maltreatment and verbal victimization may be relatively specific to the development of negative, as opposed to positive, thoughts. These findings highlight the importance of examining victimization from both parents and peers in the development of cognitive vulnerability to depression and suggest that previously proposed models may be more applicable to the development of negative automatic thoughts than to positive thoughts. This study used a cross sectional design to examine the relations among reports of childhood emotional maltreatment from parents and verbal victimization from peers, and the presence of positive and negative automatic thoughts and depressive symptoms among young adults. Table, figure, references