The effects of maltreatment and neuroendocrine regulation on memory performance

Dante Cicchetti, Fred A. Rogosch, Mark L. Howe, Sheree L. Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


This investigation examined basic memory processes, cortisol, and dissociation in maltreated children. School-aged children (age range = 6-13), 143 maltreated and 174 nonmaltreated, were administered the California Verbal Learning Test-Children (D. C. Delis, J. H. Kramer, E. Kaplan, & B. A. Ober, 1994) in a week-long camp setting, daily morning cortisol levels were assessed throughout the duration of camp, and behavioral symptoms were evaluated. Maltreatment and cortisol regulation were not related to short- or long-delay recall or recognition memory. However, children experiencing neglect and/or emotional maltreatment and low cortisol evinced heightened false recognition memory. Dissociative symptoms were higher in maltreated children; however, high dissociation was related to recognition inaccuracy only among nonmaltreated children. Results highlight the interplay between maltreatment and hypocortisolism in children's recognition memory errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1504-1519
Number of pages16
JournalChild development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010


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