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NCJ Number: 227747 Find in a Library
Title: Executive Function Performance and Trauma Exposure in a Community Sample of Children
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:33  Issue:6  Dated:June 2009  Pages:353-361
Author(s): Anne P. DePrince; Kristin M. Weinzierl; Melody D. Combs
Date Published: June 2009
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined executive function (EF) deficits as a function of trauma exposure in children.
Abstract: Findings revealed a medium effect size for the relationship between familial-trauma-exposure status and EF performance as assessed by a composite of working memory, inhibition, auditory attention, and processing speed measures. The direct effect of exposure to familial trauma was maintained even when the contribution of dissociation, anxiety symptoms (including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for trauma-exposed youth only), socioeconomic status, and potential traumatic brain injury (TBI) exposure were considered. Among these factors, only familial-trauma-exposure status and dissociation contributed unique variance to the prediction of EF performance. The relationship between familial-trauma exposure and basic executive functioning, that is the absence of emotional content, held even after taking into account internalizing symptoms, environmental stressors, and potential TBIs; therefore, children exposed to family violence show poorer EF performance relative to their peers, even in the absence of trauma-relevant cues. Data were collected from 114 school-aged children, recruited for a 2-session study on stress and attention through flyers in social service and mental health agencies, community centers, and local businesses in a large western city in the United States. Tables and references
Main Term(s): Exposure to Violence; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD)
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Behavior patterns; Behavior under stress; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Behavioral science research; Child abuse; Individual behavior; Mental disorders; Mental health; Problem behavior; Psychological evaluation; Psychological manipulation; Psychological research; Psychological victimization effects; Social psychology
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