IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Adult recall of childhood psychological maltreatment: Definitional strategies and challenges


  • Baker, Amy J.L.


This review paper was undertaken to compare legal definitions, conceptual definitions, and existing survey instruments of adult recall of childhood psychological maltreatment and to identify definitional challenges that remain. Fifteen measures were compared in order to determine whether the items on the measures captured all of the core constituent components of psychological abuse. Five key issues were identified for the field including, (1) lack of consistency in the term itself, (2) lack of consistency between legal and conceptual definitions, (3) lack of consistency between conceptual and operational definitions, (4) lack of clarity as to the role of witnessing domestic violence, and (5) lack of consistency in psychometric characteristics of the measures. Taken together these issues interfere with the ability of researchers to integrate findings across studies and to move the field forward. Suggestions for systematically addressing these issues are offered.

Suggested Citation

  • Baker, Amy J.L., 2009. "Adult recall of childhood psychological maltreatment: Definitional strategies and challenges," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 703-714, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:31:y:2009:i:7:p:703-714

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Arruabarrena, Ignacia & De Paúl, Joaquín, 2012. "Improving accuracy and consistency in child maltreatment severity assessment in child protection services in Spain: New set of criteria to help caseworkers in substantiation decisions," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 666-674.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:31:y:2009:i:7:p:703-714. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.