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Childhood Victimization and Long-Term Intellectual and Academic Outcomes

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1994
17 pages
This study examined long-term intellectual and academic outcomes associated with early childhood victimization, using a sample of previously abused and neglected individuals (n=413) and a matched control group (n=286).
In the first phase of the research, a large group of children who were abused or neglected approximately 20 years ago were followed up through an examination of official criminal records and compared with a matched control group of children. The abused and neglected group was composed of substantiated cases of childhood physical and sexual abuse and/or neglect processed during the years 1967 through 1971 in the county juvenile or adult criminal court. A control group consisted of children who were matched on age, sex, race, and approximate family social class during the time period of the study (1967 through 1971). The second phase of the study involved the tracing, locating, and interviewing of the subjects and controls. Two-hour follow-up interviews were conducted during 1989 and 1990. The interview consisted of a series of structured and semistructured questions and rating scales, measures of IQ and reading ability, and a psychiatric assessment. Abused and neglected subjects and control-group members differed significantly in IQ and reading ability, even when controlling for age, sex, race, and social class. Types of maltreatment were associated with differences in IQ and reading ability in young adulthood. The limitations of this study are discussed, as well as the role of IQ and/or reading ability as potential mediating variables for other outcomes. 5 tables, 2 figures, and 79 references

Date Published: January 1, 1994