This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Mental and Physical Health of Mothers and Children: Does Maltreatment Matter?




Staranko, Shauna

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


Maternal depression (MD) and physical health (MH) can have great impact on children, specifically children’s internalizing, externalizing and physical health, but little research has examined how maltreatment and children’s sex may affect maternal influences. The purpose of this study is to examine how MD and MH at child age 4 affects changes in internalizing, externalizing and physical health from age 4 to age 6, and whether the effects differ for maltreated males, maltreated females, non-maltreated males, and non-maltreated females. This study examines 598 children and mothers in a high-risk sample. Overall, MH predicts child physical health, but not child externalizing or internalizing and MD predicts child health, internalizing and externalizing. MD is related to child health for maltreated males, externalizing for maltreated and non-maltreated females, and internalizing for non-maltreated females and males. MH is related to child health and externalizing for maltreated females, and internalizing for maltreated males.