Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Joan H. Liem

Second Advisor

Alice S. Carter

Third Advisor

Laurel Wainwright


This longitudinal study employed an ecological-transactional model to better understand how caregiver, family system, and neighborhood factors contribute to child maltreatment. The study was designed to examine whether there were caregiver, family system, and environmental risk factors that distinguished children who have experienced maltreatment from children who have not, and whether these risk factors alone and in concert affected later child psychological development. Participants included 1,435 children and their families who were followed longitudinally when the children were ages 0-3, 4, 6 and 8. Two models of the relationship between child maltreatment, caregiver social support, family functioning and later psychological functioning were examined: 1) an independent path model that examined caregiver social support and family functioning at age 6 and their effects on child psychological well-being at age 6 and 8 and 2) a meditational model that examined the additional path of family functioning as a partial mediator of age 4 maltreatment status and age 8 child psychological well-being. The independent path model was determined to be a better fit. Research and clinical implications of the influence of environmental factors on the occurrence of child maltreatment and child psychological well-being are discussed.


Free and open access to this Campus Access Thesis is made available to the UMass Boston community by ScholarWorks at UMass Boston. Those not on campus and those without a UMass Boston campus username and password may gain access to this thesis through resources like Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global or through Interlibrary Loan. If you have a UMass Boston campus username and password and would like to download this work from off-campus, click on the "Off-Campus UMass Boston Users" link above.