Severity of maltreatment and personality pathology in adolescents of Jammu, India: A latent class approach

R. Charak, H.M. Koot

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aims of the present study were to identify discrete classes of adolescents based on their reporting of emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, and physical neglect of several levels of severity using a person-centered analytic approach (i.e., latent class analysis), and to compare the latent classes on 17 dimensions of personality pathology. It was hypothesized that based on types of maltreatment and severity levels within each type there would be discrete latent classes, and that classes of adolescents exposed to a larger number of maltreatment types with higher severity (i.e., moderate-severe) would report higher levels of personality pathology than adolescents in classes exposed to less types with less severity, after controlling for age and gender. Participants were 702 adolescents from Jammu, India (13-17 years, 41.5% females). The latent classes were based on three levels of severity for each type of maltreatment assessed via the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (Bernstein et al., 2003). Four distinct classes of adolescents, namely, Moderate-severe abuse and physical neglect (Class 1), Low to moderate-severe abuse (Class 2), Moderate-severe neglect (Class 3), and Minimal abuse or neglect (Class 4) were found. Classes with higher percentages of adolescents reporting abuse and neglect with higher severity (Classes 1 and 2) reported higher levels of personality pathology than the other classes. There are distinct classes of adolescents' identifiable based on levels of severity and types of abuse and neglect, which are differentially associated with specific dimensions of personality pathology. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-66
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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