Child abuse and neglect : their influence on cognitive impairment

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects on cognitive development attributable to physical abuse and/or neglect in children under 60 months of age. The populations of this analysis consisted of 60 children who had physical abuse and/or neglect adjudicated in the Juvenile Court System of Los Angeles. Cases were excluded on the basis of (1) severe trauma to the head and neck regions of the body, (2) prior classification of mental retardation, (3) severe behavior difficulties, and (4) evidence of sexual abuse. Twenty non-abused, non-neglected children from the Marion Davies Clinic at U.C.L.A. Data collection methodologies included the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales for Children, form L-M, and the Missouri Behavior Checklist. Evaluations were done in the place of residence for most of the children. Significant decreases in the levels of intellectual development were found in the abused-and-neglected children, and the neglected, non-abused children. Significant developmental delay was not found in the third classification of abused, non-neglected on this measure. No other significant differences were found.