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Early Child Abuse Affect Cognitive Development


Early Child Abuse Affect Cognitive Development

(ePharmaNews) - Results of a long-term study suggest early life emotional trauma may affect cognitive development in children.

The researchers at Boston hospital, Harvard University, tracked the development of 200 children from birth to the age of eight years. They assessed the participating families, using a mix of observing mother-child interactions at home and in the laboratory, interviews with the mother, and reviews of medical and child protection records.

From these data, they rated whether a child was abused physically, sexually or emotionally; endured neglect; or witnessed partner violence against his/her mother at specific time points up to the age of 5+ years.

The children's intellectual development was then assessed using validated scales at the ages of two years, 5+ years, and 8 years.

Around one in three of the children had been maltreated and/or witnessed violence against his/her mother by age 5+.and those had lower scores on the cognitive measures at all time points. The results held true even after taking account of factors likely to influence IQ development, such as social and economic factors, mother's IQ, weight at birth, birth complications, quality of intellectual stimulation at home, and gender.

The effects were most noticeable for those children who had experienced this type of trauma during the first two years of their lives, the findings showed.

"The results suggest that [maltreatment and witnessing domestic violence] in early childhood, particularly during the first two years, has significant and enduring effects on cognitive development, even after adjusting for [other risk factors]," wrote the researchers.

 At the end of the study - which is the longest on the subject - the researchers attributed the cause of the significant impact to the early years of a child's life are when the brain is developing most rapidly, they said, adding, "Because early brain organisation frames later neurological development, changes in early development may have lifelong consequences."


اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Prepared by: Mohammed Kanjo
Translated by: Marcell Shehwaro


Source :

ePharmaNews






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