Article

Childhood abuse and neglect and cognitive flexibility in adolescents.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.
Child Neuropsychology (Impact Factor: 2.24). 09/2011; 18(2):182-9. DOI: 10.1080/09297049.2011.595400
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Childhood maltreatment (CM) has been associated with diminished executive functioning in children and adults; however, there is a relative paucity of study of executive function in adolescents exposed to CM. Yet, executive dysfunction in adolescence may have important adverse consequences including increased vulnerability to risky behaviors and impaired school functioning. This study investigates the relationship between self-reported CM and an executive function, cognitive flexibility, in adolescents without identified psychiatric disorders. Effects of physical and emotional, abuse and neglect, maltreatment subtypes were explored. Thirty adolescents ages 12-17 years, 50% females, completed the retrospective self-report Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) and were administered the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Correlational analyses assessed the relationship between WCST perseverative error scores norm-referenced for age and education with CTQ total scores. The relationship with nonperseverative errors, as well as with physical and emotional abuse and neglect CM subscores, were explored. Total CTQ scores showed significant associations with perseverative errors on the WCST, but not with nonperseverative errors. Significant associations with perseverative errors were seen for physical abuse and physical neglect among the CTQ subscales. The results suggest both physical abuse and physical neglect are associated with diminished cognitive flexibility in adolescents. These effects were detected in adolescents without identified psychiatric diagnoses suggesting the importance of considering executive dysfunction in adolescents exposed to CM who may not meet diagnostic criteria for an Axis I disorder and that tests of perseverative errors, such as those of the WCST, may be sensitive indicators of this dysfunction.

1 Bookmark
 · 
131 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Childhood abuse has an important negative influence on long-term executive functioning performance. Although this has been studied in non-offenders (controls), few investigations have examined offender samples. The aims of this study were: to study the influence of childhood abuse history on adulthood executive functioning in offenders, and to examine whether executive performance is affected differentially by different abusive events. It was found that in comparison with controls (n = 17) and with non-abused offenders (n = 22), the abused offenders (n = 18) have poorer performance on psychomotor-cognitive processing speed and cognitive flexibility. In abused offenders, it was also found that physical abuse events primarily and significantly affected adulthood performance in these cognitive abilities. In conclusion, this study helps us to know, preliminarily, the neurocognitive profile of abused offenders and how different abusive events suffered in childhood (e.g. physical and emotional abuse) differentially affect executive functioning of this sample.
    Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology 02/2014; 25(1):113-119. DOI:10.1080/14789949.2013.873070 · 0.88 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Child maltreatment has the potential to alter a child's neurodevelopmental trajectory and substantially increase the risk of later psychiatric disorders, as well as to deleteriously impact neurocognitive functioning throughout the lifespan. Child maltreatment has been linked to multiple domains of neurocognitive impairment, including language, visual–spatial functioning, intelligence, executive functioning, and motor skills. Research is increasingly indicating that alterations in neurobiological functioning occur as a result of childhood maltreatment, which in turn may produce an epigenetic and transgenerational effect. School psychologists should be aware of these factors when working with maltreated children to better understand their current functioning and assessment results, and to educate family members, school personnel, and the community about the adverse effects of childhood maltreatment, as well as to work toward prevention.
    Psychology in the Schools 10/2014; DOI:10.1002/pits.21806 · 0.72 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Executive functioning (EF) research has been extended during the past decade to include self-reported estimates of perceived competency in completing routine behaviors associated with these neurological functions. Self-report measures such as the Executive Functioning Index (EFI) and Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF-A) have been found to be useful in focusing attention on potential areas of EF deficiency. Prior research has focused disproportionately on genetic and biological, rather than developmental, origins of EF. Retrospective accounts of childhood bullying were linked to adult EFI and BRIEF-A subscale scores in three independent samples in this report. Level of perceived competency in organizational skills was linked to childhood bullying experiences in all three samples. Effect sizes for these respective associations ranged from .50 to .74. Childhood bullying was not associated with deficits on any of the Continuous Performance Test subscales. Being bullied during development may alter self-perceptions of strengths and weaknesses in selected areas of EF. Systematic investigation of broader samples and testing tasks may reveal complex connections between childhood bullying and the acquisition of skills associated with EF.
    02/2015; DOI:10.1080/21622965.2014.986327

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
13 Downloads
Available from
Oct 16, 2014