Using neuropsychological profiles to classify neglected children with or without physical abuse

Journal article
Canadian CW research

Nolin, Pierre
Ethier, Louise S.

Child Abuse and Neglect, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp. 631-643

This study compared the neuropsychological profiles of 79 neglected children (with and without physical abuse) to a control group of 53 children matched for age, gender and annual family income. Children who were neglected as well as being physically abused showed cognitive deficits in auditory attention and response set, visual-motor integration, problem solving, abstraction, and planning. Children who were neglected, but not physically abused, showed cognitive deficits in auditory attention and response set and visual motor integration. However, surprisingly, these children also demonstrated a greater capacity for problem solving, abstraction, and planning, when compared to the physically abused and neglected children and the control children. Results show that cognitive deficits in maltreated children are heterogeneous, and neglect combined with physical abuse is more harmful than neglect alone.

Additional information available for these authors