Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Dean Lauterbach, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chong Man Chow, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carol Freedman-Doan, Ph.D.


Children who experience maltreatment are at an increased risk for developing internalizing problems. Little is known about long-term symptom trajectories of children placed in foster care following maltreatment. This study used contemporary growth mixture modeling to assess symptom trajectories of 322 youth from the Consortium for Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect Southwest site placed in foster care due to maltreatment. Internalizing symptom trajectories were assessed using Child Behavior Checklist caregiver reports. This study examined the relationship between early social factors (i.e., social support, unpopularity, aggression, cognitive ability, trauma exposure) and trajectories of future internalizing symptoms. Results indicate a three-class model yielded the best fit to the data with trajectories labeled (a) low and consistent, (b) moderate and increasing, and (c) high and consistent. Higher peer unpopularity was the only significant predicter of class membership. Findings suggest class membership is largely unaffected by early social factors.