Longitudinal association of child maltreatment and cognitive functioning

Implications for child development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although research investigating associations among child maltreatment, cognitive functioning, and academic achievement has grown in recent years, important questions remain. In particular, assessing the influence of maltreatment apart from that of other co-occurring and confounding factors remains difficult. This study was developed to further the field's understanding by investigating cognitive functioning in association with time-variant maltreatment patterns. Using multiple time-variant linear mixed models, we investigated the relationships between maltreatment timing and three domains of cognitive functioning (i.e., knowledge, comprehension, and analysis). In general, the cognitive functioning of students who experienced maltreatment was lower than that of their peers who had yet to experience maltreatment at the time of testing. Results of LMM indicated that the cognitive functioning of students who experienced maltreatment concurrent with the testing year fluctuated over time whereas the cognitive functioning of students who experienced maltreatment prior to or after the testing year remained stable. Students who experienced concurrent maltreatment showed the lowest functioning of any group. While maltreatment timing was a significant predictor of cognitive functioning over time, the addition of poverty into the model resulted in a non-significant effect of maltreatment timing. Additional research is needed to disentangle the longitudinal effect of maltreatment on cognitive functioning and address the interacting role of poverty and chronic maltreatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-73
Number of pages10
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume84
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

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Child Abuse
Child Development
Students
Poverty
Research
Linear Models

Keywords

  • Adverse childhood experience
  • Child maltreatment
  • Cognitive functioning

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Cite this

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abstract = "Although research investigating associations among child maltreatment, cognitive functioning, and academic achievement has grown in recent years, important questions remain. In particular, assessing the influence of maltreatment apart from that of other co-occurring and confounding factors remains difficult. This study was developed to further the field's understanding by investigating cognitive functioning in association with time-variant maltreatment patterns. Using multiple time-variant linear mixed models, we investigated the relationships between maltreatment timing and three domains of cognitive functioning (i.e., knowledge, comprehension, and analysis). In general, the cognitive functioning of students who experienced maltreatment was lower than that of their peers who had yet to experience maltreatment at the time of testing. Results of LMM indicated that the cognitive functioning of students who experienced maltreatment concurrent with the testing year fluctuated over time whereas the cognitive functioning of students who experienced maltreatment prior to or after the testing year remained stable. Students who experienced concurrent maltreatment showed the lowest functioning of any group. While maltreatment timing was a significant predictor of cognitive functioning over time, the addition of poverty into the model resulted in a non-significant effect of maltreatment timing. Additional research is needed to disentangle the longitudinal effect of maltreatment on cognitive functioning and address the interacting role of poverty and chronic maltreatment.",
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