Date of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

First Advisor

Jonathan Kessler


Childhood maltreatment is a public health concern in the United States that affects families and children annually. Childhood maltreatment can be defined differently for every individual including; sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, or emotional maltreatment. Childhood maltreatment can have multiple negative effects including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and several internalizing or externalizing symptoms. Individuals who experience maltreatment in childhood are more likely to experience revictimization later in life, particularly in the form of peer victimization, bullying, gang affiliation, or substance use. Some of these issues may start emerging in adolescence as part of social contexts. This systematic literature review evaluates recent studies to determine the influence of childhood maltreatment on adolescents’ social functioning. Findings suggest that maltreatment impacts adolescents’ social functioning. Gender disparities, attachment styles, and school connectedness were identified in the literature as factors that may influence the social functioning abilities of adolescents who experienced maltreatment in childhood. Analysis of the findings from this review provides implications for which interventions are most effective in supporting adolescents who have experienced childhood maltreatment and could guide school systems in implementing interventions within their educational systems.