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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 148468, 5 pages
Review Article

Maltreatment-Associated Psychiatric Problems: An Example of Environmentally Triggered ESSENCE?

Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Caledonia House, Glasgow G3 8SJ, UK

Received 18 February 2013; Accepted 18 March 2013

Academic Editors: J. Mari and T. Steinert

Copyright © 2013 Helen Minnis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents a new concept—maltreatment associated psychiatric problems (MAPP)—a syndrome of overlapping complex neurodevelopmental problems in children who have experienced abuse or neglect in early life. Children with MAPP are a hidden population in the community and, in clinical settings, their problems can seem overwhelming. Individual disorders associated with maltreatment are discussed as well as the overlap between these disorders and their shared environmental and genetic predisposing factors. Because of the complex and overlapping nature of MAPP, with symptoms emerging in early life, I argue that it should be considered an example of ESSENCE. Children presenting with likely MAPP should receive a comprehensive assessment, probing for symptoms of all of the ESSENCE disorders and leading to the use of evidence-based treatments where these are available.