Promoting the development of resilient academic functioning in maltreated children

Megan R. Holmes, Susan Yoon, Kristen A. Berg, Jamie L. Cage, Adam T. Perzynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined (a) the extent of heterogeneity in the patterns of developmental trajectories of language development and academic functioning in children who have experienced maltreatment, (b) how maltreatment type (i.e., neglect or physical abuse) and timing of abuse explained variation in developmental trajectories, and (c) the extent to which individual protective factors (i.e., preschool attendance, prosocial skills), relationship protective factors (i.e., parental warmth, absence of past-year depressive episode, cognitive/verbal responsiveness) and community protective factors (i.e., neighborhood safety) promoted the development of resilient language/academic functioning trajectories. Longitudinal data analyses were conducted using cohort sequential Growth Mixture Model (CS-GMM) with a United States national representative sample of children reported to Child Protective Services (n = 1,776). Five distinct developmental trajectories from birth to age 10 were identified including two resilient groups. Children who were neglected during infancy/toddlerhood or physically abused during preschool age were more likely to be in the poorer language/academic functioning groups (decreasing/recovery/decreasing and high decreasing) than the resilient high stable group. Child prosocial skills, caregiver warmth, and caregiver cognitive stimulation significantly predicted membership in the two resilient academic functioning groups (low increasing and high stable), after controlling for demographics and child physical abuse and neglect. Results suggest that it is possible for a maltreated child to successfully achieve competent academic functioning, despite the early adversity, and identifies three possible avenues of intervention points. This study also makes a significant contribution to the field of child development research through the novel use of CS-GMM, which has implications for future longitudinal data collection methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-103
Number of pages12
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume75
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau, Grant #90CA1817. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the funders, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. This information is in the public domain. Readers are encouraged to copy and share it, but please credit the authors.

Funding Information:
Funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau , Grant # 90CA1817 . The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the funders, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. This information is in the public domain. Readers are encouraged to copy and share it, but please credit the authors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Academic competence
  • Language development
  • Longitudinal
  • Maltreatment
  • Resilience

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