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J Trauma Dissociation. 2013;14(3):302-11. doi: 10.1080/15299732.2012.736928.

Dissociative symptoms and academic functioning in maltreated children: a preliminary study.

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The Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado 80045, USA.


Research has identified numerous negative sequelae of child maltreatment that may adversely impact academic functioning (AF). There is limited research, however, on the relationship between specific trauma symptoms, such as dissociation, and poor AF. This cross-sectional study examined the association between dissociative symptoms and multi-informant reports of AF in a sample of maltreated youth with a history of out-of-home care. Participants included 149 youth and their caregivers and teachers. Dissociative symptoms were measured based on youth report, whereas AF was assessed using (a) standardized measures of academic achievement, (b) youth-report measures of school membership and perceived academic competence, (c) caregiver reports of youths' performance in school, and (d) teacher reports of student grades. Results of multiple regression analyses suggested that dissociative symptoms were generally related to poorer AF after IQ, age, gender, and the total number of school and caregiver transitions were controlled. Implications for school personnel are discussed.

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