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The present study, utilizing both a child protective services and high school sample of
midadolescents, examined the issue of self-report of maltreatment as it relates to issues of external
validity (i.e., concordance with social worker ratings), reliability (i.e., overlap with an alternate
child maltreatment self-report inventory; association of a self-labeling item as
“abused” with their subscale item counterparts), and construct validity (i.e., the
association of maltreatment with posttraumatic stress symptomatology and dating violence).
Relevant theoretical work in attachment, trauma, and relationship violence points to a mediational
model, whereby the relationship between childhood maltreatment and adolescent dating violence
would be expected to be accounted for by posttraumatic stress symptomatology. In the high
school sample, 1329 adolescents and, in the CPS sample, 224 youth on the active caseloads
completed comparable questionnaires in the three domains of interest. For females only, results
supported a mediational model in the prediction of dating violence in both samples. For males,
child maltreatment and trauma symptomatology added unique contributions to predicting dating
violence, with no consistent pattern emerging across samples. When considering the issue of
self-labeling as abused, CPS females who self-labeled had higher posttraumatic stress
symptomatology and dating violence victimization scores than did their nonlabeling, maltreated
counterparts for emotional maltreatment. These results point to the need for ongoing work in
understanding the process of disclosure and how maltreatment experiences are consciously
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