The environment of child maltreatment: Contextual factors and the development of psychopathology

Debra B. Hecht, David J Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Some professionals have hypothesized that the observed problems in children who have been maltreated may actually be a result of the combination of risk factors surrounding the child, including but not limited to direct results of the abuse itself. This article examines the complexity of hypothesized pathways to poor adjustment after physical and sexual abuse. The literature on the impact of major risk factors associated with maltreatment is reviewed in an attempt to clarify the potential contributions of these contextual variables on the development of psychopathology in physically and sexually abused children. The implications this analysis may yield for prevention, intervention, and research in this field are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-457
Number of pages25
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001



  • Child maltreatment
  • Consequences
  • Environment
  • Psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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