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Soc Work. 1990 Nov;35(6):506-13.

Maltreatment and the school-age child: major academic, socioemotional, and adaptive outcomes.

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  • 1University of Akron, OH 44325.


Studies of the impact of abuse or neglect on children have focused largely on maltreated infants, toddlers, or preschool children and on single subsystems of development. In the study described in this article, 139 school-age and adolescent children who had been physically abused, who had been neglected, and who had no prior history of maltreatment participated in a multimodal, multisource assessment. The authors used parent and child interviews, teacher ratings, and data from school records to comprehensively assess older maltreated children's school performance; social and emotional development in school, at home, in the community, and with peers; and adaptive behavior in areas such as motor skills, personal care skills, and community orientation. With the effects of socioeconomic status covaried out, results showed that the abused children displayed pervasive and severe academic and socioemotional problems. Neglected children differed little from children who were neither abused nor neglected on measures of socioemotional development, but they displayed severe academic delays. Both groups of maltreated children showed unexpected strengths on measures of adaptive behavior.

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