Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Christine Wekerle


Maltreated youth are at an increased risk for involvement in aggressive and potentially

violent interpersonal relationships, in part due to their limited behavioural and emotion management skills. This study of maltreated adolescents (N = 238; 59.7% female; Mage - 16.41, SDage= 1.02) involved with child protective services (CPS) examined whether: (a) youth have clinical levels of negative affect; (b) the association between adolescent negative affect and adolescent impaired thinking is significant; and (c) there is a link between negative affect, impaired thinking, and engagement in adolescent dating violence. Results showed that maltreated youth reported higher levels of negative affect on the overall psychological symptoms, as well as symptom-specific areas (e.g., trauma, anger), as compared to normative samples. Using an overall negative affect index, few significant associations were found. Negative affect was significantly associated with emotional, physical and sexual abuse (r > .20, p < .01), dating violence victimization (r > ■25, p < .01), dating violence perpetration (r > •25, p < .05) for both males and females. Significant associations between a measure of verbal fluency and maltreatment were limited and varied by gender.



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