Full Program »
83. Child Maltreatment and Multifinality in Adult Psychopathology
Child maltreatment poses severe consequences across the lifespan, including numerous adult psychopathology outcomes. The principle of multifinality specifies that diverse psychopathological outcomes may evolve from the same adverse origin. However, few studies are able to prospectively follow high-risk maltreatment samples necessary to elucidate similar and diverging developmental routes from maltreatment to psychopathology. The current study applied a developmental psychopathology framework to identify sequences of maladaptation that follow child maltreatment across development and ultimately converge on diverse psychopathology outcomes. Participants (389 socioeconomically-disadvantaged, racially-diverse individuals) were longitudinally-assessed in late childhood and emerging adulthood (10-12- and 18-20-years-old). The sample included maltreated and nonmaltreated children (coded via documented records); groups were demographically-comparable; and the study utilized multi-informant methods. We used structural equation modeling to identify childhood precursors of four adult psychopathology outcomes (antisocial, depressive, anxiety, and substance use symptoms) and to test separate pathways from chronic child maltreatment to childhood internalizing and externalizing symptoms and subsequent adult psychopathology. Results indicated separate mediated paths from maltreatment to: 1) child externalizing to adult antisocial and substance use disorder symptoms; 2) child internalizing to adult antisocial, substance use, anxiety and depressive symptoms. Discussion will address developmental symptom continuity and how child maltreatment portends multfinality in adult psychopathology.