Childhood Maltreatment and The effects it has on Middle Adulthood

Topics: Child abuse, Physical abuse, Abuse Pages: 4 (934 words) Published: December 9, 2013

Child Maltreatment and the Effects it has Middle Adulthood

Valentina Nikulina and Cathy Spatz Widon authored Child Maltreatment and Executive Functioning in Middle Adulthood: A Prospective Examination. In this journal article Nikulina and Widom search for answers to determine if childhood maltreatment predicts components of executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning ability in middle adulthood and whether PTSD moderates this relationship. Over a million children are maltreated everyday in America. Maltreatment is defined as the physical, sexual or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. Although researchers have hypothesized that childhood maltreatment has a detrimental effect on brain development no longitudinal studies had been conducted until this particular study was conducted.

This study is designed to provide answers to four fundamental questions: Does childhood maltreatment predict executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning deficits in middle adulthood? Are there differences in the impact of child maltreatment on executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning by the type of childhood abuse and/or neglect (sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect? Does childhood maltreatment predict executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning deficits in middle adulthood, after other factors (IQ, current levels of depression, or excessive alcohol consumption) are taken out? Does a history of PTSD moderate or mediate the relation between child abuse/ neglect and executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning deficits in middle adulthood (Nikulina, et.al,2013).

Executive functions and nonverbal reasoning are directly affiliated with planning, inhibition, organization, and monitoring of complex behavior; memory, cognitive flexibility, sustained attention, nonverbal problem solving and rational reasoning. The prefrontal cortex controls these two functions and is though to be damaged by childhood...

References: Child Maltreatment. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved October 14, 2013, from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child Maltreatment
Nikulina,V., & Spatx- Widom, C. (2013). Child Maltreatment And Executive Functioning in Middle Adulthood: A Prospective Examination. Neuropsychology Vol. 27, NO.4, 417-427. doi: 10.1037/a002811
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