The developmental status of abused and neglected children in the Philippines

Peejay Bengwasan & Mari Erika Joi F. Bancual - Children and Youth Services Review



Traumatization with the absence of parental care becomes toxic to a child’s development (Dudley, 2015). Despite documented effects of child abuse and neglect, there is a need to explore the status of children who experienced maltreatment who are outside the home (Roche, 2017).


This study explores the development of abused children in different areas. Likewise, it looks into differences of the level of development in relation to age, gender and type of abuse.

Participants and setting

206 abused and neglected children from a local psychotherapeutic center in the northern Philippines were included.


The Developmental Profile III (DP-3) scores were analyzed using one-sample t-test against the minimum average score. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to find differences between developmental areas. ANOVAs and MANOVAs were used to explore demographics.


General Development was significantly lower than the average standard score, p < .001, as well as its four scales: Adaptive Behavior (p < .01) Social-Emotional (p < .01), Cognitive (p < .01), and Communication (p < .001). Only Physical Development was within the average standard score range, p = .471. These specific developmental areas were found to be significantly different, Wilks’ Lambda = 0.801, F(4, 202) = 12.580, p < .001. and a large effect size, partial η2 = 0.199 was obtained. Further analyses in relation to age, gender and type of abuse revealed nuances.


Children who experienced abuse and neglect present a specific profile in terms of development and its specific areas. Results reveal heterogeneous impact on overall development and in particular developmental domains in relation to demographic factors.