Neuropsychological findings in pediatric maltreatment: relationship of PTSD, dissociative symptoms, and abuse/neglect indices to neurocognitive outcomes.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Maltreated (n = 38), maltreated + posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; n = 60), and control youth (n = 104) underwent comprehensive neuropsychological testing. The two maltreated groups performed significantly lower on IQ, academic achievement, and nearly all of the neurocognitive domains than controls. Maltreated + PTSD performed significantly worse than maltreated youth without PTSD on a task in the visuospatial domain that assessed higher order visuoconstructive abilities. No group differences were evident on the fine motor domain. PTSD diagnosis duration negatively correlated with the visuospatial, and dissociation negatively correlated with the attention domain. Cumulative lifetime maltreatment types experienced negatively correlated with academic achievement. Sexual abuse negatively correlated with language and memory functions after controlling for other maltreatment types. These data support the adverse effects of maltreatment on neuropsychological functions in youth and suggest that all child protective services identified youth should be comprehensively examined for the integrity of their neuropsychological functioning and academic skills, regardless of the presence or absence of mental health symptoms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • De Bellis, MD; Woolley, DP; Hooper, SR

Published Date

  • August 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 171 - 183

PubMed ID

  • 23886642

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3769175

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-6119

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1077-5595

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1077559513497420


  • eng