Publication date: Feb 01, 2024
Childhood adversity and depression have been linked with heightened inflammation. However, few longitudinal studies examine how dimensions of maltreatment (i. e., abuse and neglect) differentially impact pathways to heightened inflammation and internalizing symptoms. The present study examined effects of abuse and neglect on (1) internalizing symptoms through inflammation, and (2) on inflammation through internalizing symptoms across 3 years of adolescence in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a sample of 78 adolescents, significant indirect effects revealed that childhood abuse, not neglect, significantly predicted future internalizing symptoms, which predicted future heighted C-reactive protein (CRP). Using prospective longitudinal data, these findings emphasize the importance of examining distinct forms of maltreatment in understanding the developmental pathways connecting early adversity, internalizing symptoms, and inflammation.