Means and standard deviations for the adult well-being measures are shown in . As shown, means of these measures are generally lower for those who had been involved with child welfare. Tests of differences in the means of these two groups revealed that all but directedness differed significantly between the groups, with p-values below .05.
Correlations among the variables are shown in . Correlations generally are in the moderate range, with some approaching or exceeding .5 (e.g., anger and self-esteem, self-esteem and constraints, self-esteem and happiness/life satisfaction). Significant correlations for officially recorded child maltreatment and the adult outcomes range from −.13 for autonomy to −.26 for happiness and life satisfaction. Parent-reported physically abusive discipline is also correlated with several of the adult well-being measures, including anger (r = .21), self-esteem (r = −.15), and happiness/life satisfaction (r = −.22). Neglect is negatively correlated with self-esteem (r = −.19), autonomy (r = −.15), purpose in life (r = −.14), constraints (r = −.20), and happiness/life satisfaction (r = −.16).
Correlations of Variables in the Analysis
Results of the multivariate regression models are shown in . includes the standardized regression coefficients for the 3-step model, which starts in Step 1 with the official record maltreatment variable. Step 2 adds SES and gender. Step 3 adds physically abusive discipline and neglect.
Hierarchical Regression Results
Results show that officially recorded maltreatment is significantly related to all but directedness in Step 1 (standardized coefficients [β] of −.13 to −. 26). With the addition of SES and gender in Step 2, the official maltreatment variable is no longer statistically significant for outcomes of purpose in life or constraints, and the standardized regression coefficient for anger dropped to marginal significance (p < .10). However, official child maltreatment remains a significant predictor of self-esteem (β = −.19, p < .01), autonomy (β = −.23, p < .001), and happiness/life satisfaction (β = −.23, p < .001).
With the addition of parent-reported abusive discipline and neglect in Step 3, there was little change from Step 2 with respect to significant predictors. The official record maltreatment variable remains a significant predictor of the four adult outcomes that were revealed in Step 2, with only slight reductions in the size of the coefficients from those earlier models. In addition, this variable re-emerged in Step 3 as a significant predictor of adult anger (β = .13, p < .05).
Interestingly, parent-reported abusive disciplining was uniquely predictive of anger (β = .18, p < .01), self-esteem (β = −.14, p < .05), and happiness/life satisfaction (β = −.22, p < .001). Observed neglect was significantly predictive of autonomy (β = −.13, p<.05) and constraints (β = −.14, p<.05), suggesting that these other sources of data on child maltreatment provide information not found in the official record data.