Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 8, pp 2372–2386 | Cite as

An Exploratory Study of Neglect and Emotional Abuse in Adolescents: Classifications of Caregiver Risk Factors

  • Cassandra Simmel
  • Darcey Merritt
  • Hillary Mi-Sung Kim
  • Soyoun Kim
Original Paper


Recent research has advanced exploration of developmental stage and age-related distinctions in understanding the perpetration of child maltreatment. Using longitudinal data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being I (NSCAW-I), this exploratory study investigated heterogeneity in caregiver risks in cases of both neglect and emotional abuse of adolescents (N = 511). Using MPlus software, a person-centered data analytic strategy–latent class analysis was performed to identify distinct classes of caregiver risk factors that were associated with the reports of maltreatment among adolescents. Subsequently exploring the distinct characteristics of the classes, we examined the related demographic characteristics, child welfare system variables (e.g., type of placement status; change in placement type between waves), and youth factors such as the presence of clinical range problem behaviors (Child Behavior Checklist). Results demonstrate four distinct classes of caregiver risk factors, with a nearly even split between those who have an absence of risk factors and those who have a whole host of risk determinants. Differences between the classes regarding the duration of time in out-of-home placements between Wave 1 and Wave 3 also emerged significant.


Latent class analysis Emotional abuse Neglect Adolescents Child welfare 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cassandra Simmel
    • 1
  • Darcey Merritt
    • 2
  • Hillary Mi-Sung Kim
    • 3
  • Soyoun Kim
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Social WorkRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.Silver School of Social WorkNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, Institute for the Study of Child DevelopmentRutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolNew BrunswickUSA
  4. 4.Department of Social WelfareEwha Womans UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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