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
 · 
100 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent data suggests that a history of childhood maltreatment is associated with reductions in hippocampal volume in healthy adults. Because this association is also evident in adults with psychiatric illness, it has been suggested that reductions in hippocampal volume associated with childhood maltreatment may be a risk factor for psychiatric illness. Such an interpretation suggests that healthy adults with a history of childhood maltreatment are more resilient to the effects of maltreatment. Current models of resilience suggest, however, that resiliency should be measured across multiple domains of functioning. The present study sought to investigate childhood maltreatment in relationship to hippocampal volumes in healthy adults and to address the question of whether the putative resiliency extends to other domains of functioning. Sixty-seven healthy Caucasian adults were assessed for a history of childhood emotional abuse, emotional neglect and physical abuse and received high resolution structural MR imaging scans. Participants with and without histories of abuse or neglect were compared on measures of total hippocampal volume, general cognitive ability and subclinical psychopathology. Our results suggest that childhood emotional abuse is associated with reduced hippocampus volume in males, but not in females. However, emotional abuse was associated with higher levels of subclinical psychopathology in both males and females. These data suggest that while females may be more resilient to the neurological effects of childhood maltreatment, they are not more resilient to the psychiatric symptoms associated with childhood maltreatment. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms involved in these different levels of resilience.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 05/2013; · 4.09 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Both bipolar disorder (BD) and childhood trauma are associated with cognitive impairment. People with BD have high rates of childhood trauma, which confer greater overall disease severity, but, it is unknown if childhood trauma is associated with greater neurocognitive impairment in BD patients early in the course of their illnesses. In this study, we investigated the impact of childhood trauma on specific cognitive dysfunction in patients who recently recovered from their first episode of mania. Methods: Data were available for 64 patients and 28 healthy subjects matched by age, gender and pre-morbid IQ, recruited from a large university medical center. History of childhood trauma was measured using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Cognitive function was assessed through a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery. Results: Trauma was associated with poorer cognitive performance in patients on cognitive measures of IQ, auditory attention and verbal and working memory, and a different pattern was observed in healthy subjects. Limitations: We had a modest sample size, particularly in the group of healthy subjects with trauma. Conclusions: Childhood trauma was associated with poorer cognition in BD patients who recently recovered from a first episode of mania compared to healthy subjects. The results require replication, but suggest that the co-occurrence of trauma and bipolar disorder can affect those cognitive areas that are already more susceptible in patients with BD.
    Journal of affective disorders 12/2012; · 3.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background A comprehensive review of the design principles and methodological approaches that have been used to make inferences from the research on disasters in children is needed. Objective To identify the methodological approaches used to study children’s reactions to three recent major disasters—the September 11, 2001, attacks; the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami; and Hurricane Katrina. Methods This review was guided by a systematic literature search. Results A total of 165 unduplicated empirical reports were generated by the search and examined for this review. This included 83 references on September 11, 29 on the 2004 Tsunami, and 53 on Hurricane Katrina. Conclusions A diversity of methods has been brought to bear in understanding children’s reactions to disasters. While cross-sectional studies predominate, pre-event data for some investigations emerged from archival data and data from studies examining non-disaster topics. The nature and extent of the influence of risk and protective variables beyond disaster exposure are not fully understood due, in part, to limitations in the study designs used in the extant research. Advancing an understanding of the roles of exposure and various individual, family, and social factors depends upon the extent to which measures and assessment techniques are valid and reliable, as well as on data sources and data collection designs. Comprehensive assessments that extend beyond questionnaires and checklists to include interviews and cognitive and biological measures to elucidate the negative and positive effects of disasters on children also may improve the knowledge base.
    Child and Youth Care Forum 01/2013; · 1.25 Impact Factor

Full-text

View
1 Download
Available from