Heterogeneity in trajectories of child maltreatment severity: A two-part growth mixture model

Svetlana Yampolskaya*, Paul E. Greenbaum, C. Hendricks Brown, Mary I. Armstrong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study examined the trajectories of maltreatment severity and substantiation over a 24-month period among children (N = 82,396) with repeated maltreatment reports. Findings revealed 2 different longitudinal patterns. The first pattern, Elevated Severity, showed a higher level of maltreatment during the initial incident and increased maltreatment severity during subsequent incidents, but the substantiation rates for this class decreased over time. The second pattern, Lowered Severity, showed a much lower level of severity, but the likelihood of substantiation increased over time. The Elevated Severity class was composed of children with an elevated risk profile because of both individual and contextual risk factors including older age, female gender, caregivers' substance use problems, and a higher number of previous maltreatment reports. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)916-932
Number of pages17
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015


  • maltreatment severity
  • recurrence of maltreatment
  • substantiated maltreatment
  • two-part latent growth curve mixture modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Law
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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