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This investigation examined the dimensions of developmental timing, subtype, and severity of
maltreatment and their relations with child adaptation. The 814 children who participated in a
summer day camp, 492 of whom were maltreated and 322 of whom were nonmaltreated
comparison children, were assessed by camp counselors on their internalizing and externalizing
symptomatology, aggressive, withdrawn, and cooperative behavior, and on personality
dimensions of ego resiliency and ego control, and were rated by peers on disruptive, aggressive,
and cooperative behavior. The severity within each subtype of maltreatment and the
developmental period in which each subtype occurred were examined through hierarchical
regression analyses. Additionally, children with similar timing or subtype patterns were grouped to
explore diversity in outcomes. Results highlighted the role of severity of emotional maltreatment
in the infancy–toddlerhood period and physical abuse during the preschool period in
predicting externalizing behavior and aggression. Severity of physical neglect, particularly when it
occurred during the preschool period, was associated with internalizing symptomatology and
withdrawn behavior. Additionally, maltreatment during the school-age period contributed
significant variance after earlier maltreatment was controlled. Chronic maltreatment, especially
with onset during infancy–toddlerhood or preschool periods, was linked with more
maladaptive outcomes. The implications of measuring multiple dimensions for improving research
in child maltreatment are discussed.
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