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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221236 Find in a Library
Title: Exposure to Childhood Sexual and Physical Abuse and Subsequent Educational Achievement Outcomes
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:31  Issue:10  Dated:October 2007  Pages:1101-1114
Author(s): Joseph M. Boden; L. John Horwood; David M. Fergusson
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The study examined the relationship between exposure to sexual and physical abuse (CSA and CPA) in childhood and later educational achievement outcome in late adolescence and early adulthood.
Abstract: Results indicate that children exposed to maltreatment are at increased risk of educational under-achievement over their life course. However, this under-achievement largely reflects the social, family, and related contests within which acts of child maltreatment occur, rather than the direct effects of child maltreatment per se on educational achievement. There were pervasive bivariate associations between exposure to CSA and CPA and a range of educational outcomes spanning high school and university achievement. For all outcomes, there were clear and linear trends for increasing severity of both CSA and CPA exposure to be associated with decreasing educational achievement. Second, there were a number of covariate factors that were related to both CSA and CPA that could potentially confound the relationship between exposure to abuse and later educational achievement. Analyses revealed significant associations between a range of socioeconomic, family function, parental adjustments, and individual factors, and CSA and CPA. The associations between child maltreatment and diminished educational outcomes can be explained by the influence of factors associated with exposure to child maltreatment. While these finding suggest that exposure to child maltreatment is not a direct cause of later educational underachievement, it is clear that exposure to CSA and CPA in childhood is a risk marker for poorer educational outcomes. These findings imply that interventions designed to improve the social and family-related factors that contribute to the incidence of CSA and CPA may also have the benefit of increasing educational achievement for children in at-risk families. The sample consisted of 1,053 children who had complete data on CSA and CPA as assessed at ages 18 to 21 and on the educational outcomes assessed to age 25. Limitations and suggestion for future research are detailed. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Assessment (child health and welfare); Educational levels
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse treatment; Child Sexual Abuse; Economic influences; Family structure
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