You are here » CORE INFO » Reviews » Early Years Neglect / EA » What are the emotional, behavioural and developmental (EBD) features in the child indicative of any type of neglect / emotional abuse? » Results


The following is a summary of the systematic review findings up to the date of our most recent literature search. If you have a specific clinical case, we strongly recommend you read all of the relevant references as cited and look for additional material published outside our search dates.


  • Study designs:
    27 case-control studies 1-4,6,7,9,15,18-28,31-33,35,37,39,41,42
    14 cohort studies 5,8,10-14,16,17,29,34,38,40,43
    1 cross-sectional study 36
  • 1 case-series 30
  • Gender: One study addressed gender and found that amongst the maltreated children, girls had the greater delay in syntactic language development 15

Influence of ethnicity and socio-economic group

In the case-control studies, the groups were well-matched for ethnicity, maternal education, socio-economic grouping (insurance status for North American studies) and maternal age


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  1. Allen RE, Oliver JM. The effects of child maltreatment on language development. Child Abuse and Neglect. 1982;6(3):299-305 [Pubmed]
  2. Cheatham CL, Larkina M, Bauer PJ, Toth SL, Cicchetti D. Declarative memory in abused and neglected infants. Advances in child development and behavior. 2010;38:161-182 [Pubmed]
  3. Cicchetti D, Rogosch FA, Toth SL. Fostering secure attachment in infants in maltreating families through preventive interventions. Development and psychopathology. 2006;18(3):623-649 [Pubmed]
  4. Crittenden PM. Maltreated infants: vulnerability and resilience. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 1985;26(1):85-96 [Pubmed]
  5. Crittenden PM. Social networks, quality of child rearing, and child development. Child development. 1985;56(5):1299-1313 [Abstract provided by JSTOR]
  6. Crittenden PM. Children's strategies for coping with adverse home environments: an interpretation using attachment theory. Child Abuse and Neglect. 1992;16(3):329-343 [Pubmed]
  7. Crittenden PM, DiLalla DL. Compulsive compliance: the development of an inhibitory coping strategy in infancy. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 1988;16(5):585-599 [Pubmed]
  8. Culp RE, Watkins RV, Lawrence H, Letts D, Kelly DJ, Rice ML. Maltreated children's language and speech development: abused, neglected, and abused and neglected. First Language. 1991;11(33):377-389 [Abstract provided by Sage Journals]
  9. DiLalla DL, Crittenden PM. Dimensions of maltreated children's home behavior: A factor analytic approach. Infant Behavior and Development. 1990;13(4):439-460 [Abstract provided by Science Direct]
  10. Dubowitz H, Papas MA, Black MM, Starr RHJ. Child neglect: outcomes in high-risk urban preschoolers. Pediatrics. 2002;109(6):1100-1107 [Pubmed]
  11. Dubowitz H, Pitts SC, Black MM. Measurement of three major subtypes of child neglect. Child Maltreatment. 2004;9(4):344-356 [Pubmed]
  12. Egeland B, Sroufe A. Developmental sequelae of maltreatment in infancy. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development. 1981(11):77-92 [Abstract provided by Wiley]
  13. Egeland B, Sroufe A. Attachment and early maltreatment. Child Development. 1981;52(1):44-52 [Pubmed]
  14. Egeland B, Sroufe LA, Erickson M. The developmental consequence of different patterns of maltreatment. Child Abuse and Neglect. 1983;7(4):459-469 [Pubmed]
  15. Eigsti IM, Cicchetti D. The impact of child maltreatment on expressive syntax at 60 months. Developmental Science. 2004;7(1):88-102 [Pubmed]
  16. English DJ, Thompson R, Graham JC, Briggs EC. Toward a definition of neglect in young children. Child Maltreatment. 2005;10(2):190-206 [Pubmed]
  17. Erickson MF, Egeland B, Pianta R. The effects of maltreatment on the development of young children. In: Cicchetti D, Carlson V, editors. Child maltreatment: Theory and research on the causes and consequences of child abuse and neglect. New York: Cambridge University Press; 1989. p.647-684 [Abstract provided by American Psychological Association PsycNET]
  18. Frodi A, Smetana J. Abused, neglected, and nonmaltreated preschoolers' ability to discriminate emotions in others: the effects of IQ. Child Abuse and Neglect. 1984;8(4):459-465 [Pubmed]
  19. Hoffman-Plotkin D, Twentyman CT. A multimodal assessment of behavioral and cognitive deficits in abused and neglected preschoolers. Child Development. 1984;55(3):794-802 [Pubmed]
  20. Koenig AL, Cicchetti D, Rogosch FA. Child compliance / noncompliance and maternal contributors to internalization in maltreating and nonmaltreating dyads. Child Development. 2000;71(4):1018-1032 [Pubmed]

  21. Koenig AL, Cicchetti D, Rogosch FA. Moral development: the association between maltreatment and young children's prosocial behaviors and moral transgressions. Social Development. 2004;13(1):87-106 [Abstract provided by Wiley Online]
  22. Lamb ME, Gaensbauer TJ, Malkin CM, Schultz LA. The effects of child maltreatment on security of infant-adult attachment. Infant Behavior Development. 1985;8(1):35-45 [Abstract provided by American Psychological Association PsycNET]
  23. Macfie J, Cicchetti D, Toth SL. Dissociation in maltreated versus nonmaltreated preschool-aged children. Child Abuse and Neglect. 2001;25(9):1253-1267 [Pubmed]
  24. Macfie J, Toth SL, Rogosch FA, Robinson J, Emde RN, Cicchetti D. Effect of maltreatment on preschoolers' narrative representations of responses to relieve distress and of role reversal. Developmental Psychology. 1999;35(2):460-465 [Pubmed]
  25. Mackner LM, Starr RHJ, Black MM. The cumulative effect of neglect and failure to thrive on cognitive functioning. Child Abuse and Neglect. 1997;21(7):691-700 [Pubmed]
  26. Maughan A, Cicchetti D. Impact of child maltreatment and interadult violence on children's emotion regulation abilities and socioemotional adjustment. Child Development. 2002;73(5):1525-1542 [Pubmed]
  27. Pollak SD, Cicchetti D, Hornung K, Reed A. Recognizing emotion in faces: developmental effects of child abuse and neglect. Developmental Psychology. 2000;36(5):679-688 [Pubmed]
  28. Rohrbeck CA, Twentyman CT. Multimodal assessment of impulsiveness in abusing, neglecting, and nonmaltreating mothers and their preschool children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 1986;54(2):231-236 [Pubmed citation only]
  29. Scarborough AA, Lloyd EC, Barth RP. Maltreated infants and toddlers: predictors of developmental delay. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 2009;30(6):489-498 [Pubmed]
  30. Skowron EA, Cipriano-Essel E, Benjamin LS, Pincus AL, Van Ryzin MJ. Cardiac vagal tone and quality of parenting show concurrent and time-ordered associations that diverge in abusive, neglectful, and non-maltreating mothers. Couple & Family Psychology. 2013;2(2):95-115 [Pubmed]

  31. Skowron EA, Loken E, Gatzke-Kopp LM, Cipriano-Essel EA, Woehrle PL, Van Epps JJ, Gowda A, Ammerman RT. Mapping cardiac physiology and parenting processes in maltreating mother-child dyads. Journal of Family Psychology. 2011;25(5):663-674 [Pubmed]

  32. Smetana JG, Kelly M, Twentyman CT. Abused, neglected, and nonmaltreated children's conceptions of moral and social-conventional transgressions. Child Development. 1984;55(1):277-287 [Pubmed]

  33. Stronach EP, Toth SL, Rogosch F, Oshri A, Manly JT, Cicchetti D. Child maltreatment, attachment security, and internal representations of mother and mother-child relationships. Child Maltreatment. 2011;16(2):137-145 [Abstract available from SAGE]

  34. Sullivan MW, Bennett DS, Carpenter K, Lewis M. Emotion knowledge in young neglected children. Child Maltreatment. 2008;13(3):301-306 [Abstract provided by Sage Journals]
  35. Sullivan MW, Carmody DP, Lewis M. How neglect and punitiveness influence emotion knowledge. Child Psychiatry and Human Development. 2010;41(3):285-298 [Pubmed]

  36. Sylvestre A, Mérette C. Language delay in severely neglected children: a cumulative or specific effect of risk factors? Child Abuse and Neglect. 2010;34(6):414-428 [Pubmed]
  37. Toth SL, Cicchetti D, Macfie J, Emde RN. Representations of self and other in the narratives of neglected, physically abused, and sexually abused preschoolers. Development and Psychopathology. 1997;9(4):781-796 [Pubmed]
  38. Toth SL, Cicchetti D, Macfie J, Maughan A, VanMeenen K. Narrative representations of caregivers and self in maltreated pre-schoolers. Attachment and Human Development 2000;2(3):271-305 [Pubmed]
  39. Valentino K, Cicchetti D, Toth SL, Rogosch FA. Mother-child play and emerging social behaviors among infants from maltreating families. Developmental Psychology 2006;42(3):474-485 [Pubmed]
  40. Valentino K, Cicchetti D, Toth SL, Rogosch FA. Mother-child play and maltreatment: a longitudinal analysis of emerging social behavior from infancy to toddlerhood. Developmental Psychology. 2011;47(5):1280-1294 [Pubmed]

  41. Venet M, Bureau J, Gosselin C, Capuano F. Attachment representations in a sample of neglected preschool-age children. School Psychology International. 2007;28(3):264-293 [Abstract provided by Sage Journals]
  42. Waldinger RJ, Toth SL, Gerber A. Maltreatment and internal representations of relationships: Core relationship themes in the narratives of abused and neglected preschoolers. Social Development. 2001;10(1):41-58 [Abstract provided by Wiley Online]
  43. Woodruff, K. Assessing developmental pathways of young children investigated for neglect and predictors of persistent problems. University of Maryland, Baltimore. Social Work. Ph.D. 2012 [Available from University of Maryland Digital Archive]


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