Child Maltreatment Increases the Risk of Self-esteem Impairment: Findings from Children and Adolescents in Uganda

  • Eunice Ndyareeba Kabale University
  • Herbert E. Ainamani, PhD Kabale University
  • Grace Ankunda Kabale University
  • Agnes Amanya Kabale University
Keywords: Children, Adolescents, Maltreatment, Self-esteem, Uganda
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Child maltreatment exposes children to developmental risks pertaining to internalizing problems both in early and later life. However, research on this phenomenon in low- and middle-income countries is scanty. Our study aimed at examining the association between different forms of child maltreatment and self-esteem among children and adolescents in Uganda. The present investigation involved conducting interviews with a cohort of 232 school-going children and adolescents. The Maltreatment and Abuse Chronology Exposure Pediatric-Version (MACE) questionnaire was employed to evaluate the various forms of maltreatment that the participants may have encountered. Furthermore, the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSE) was utilized to gauge their self-esteem. To explore the association between diverse maltreatment categories and self-esteem levels, descriptive statistics were employed, and linear regression analysis was conducted using SPSS. Our results showed that the majority 162 (70%) of the children had low self-esteem and high levels of childhood maltreatment (M = 28.7, SD = 2.16). The study found a statistically significant inverse relationship between child maltreatment and self-esteem (b -0.012, p=-.0.0025). It was also found that the regression model was statistically significant and therefore the data fits the model (F = 5.82, E = .017). The regression equation indicated that for every unit increase in child maltreatment, self-esteem decreases by 1.3%. It was concluded that maltreatment has a negative detrimental impact on the self-esteem of children and adolescents. The study contributes to the existing knowledge base and its implications for intervention, support, and prevention efforts in the context of child maltreatment.


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18 May, 2023
How to Cite
Ndyareeba, E., Ainamani, H., Ankunda, G., & Amanya, A. (2023). Child Maltreatment Increases the Risk of Self-esteem Impairment: Findings from Children and Adolescents in Uganda. East African Journal of Health and Science, 6(1), 124-132.