Childhood Trauma And Intelligence - College Of Charleston, Intelligence And IQ - Research Paper

2575 words - 11 pages

Childhood Trauma and Intelligence 1
Childhood Trauma and Intelligence
College of Charleston
Childhood Trauma and Intelligence 2
Childhood Trauma and Intelligence
During early years of life, development is rapid. A child progresses from helpless
newborn to a walking, talking child with independent ideas and opinions. While the changes on
the outside are the most obvious, there are also significant developments in the brain. Studies
suggest that stress experienced early in life has detrimental consequences on brain development,
including brain regions involved in cognitive function. Exposure to trauma in early childhood
can affect brain development but how does early exposure to trauma affect intelligence?
Neuropsychological functioning of childhood trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder: A
In this meta analysis conducted by S. Malarbia, H.M. Abu-Rayya, and F. Muscarac, R.
Stargatta explores the evidence that suggests trauma exposure during childhood has implications
for neurodevelopmental outcomes. In this review the authors present an overview of what has
been explored and what can be done to continue the research on childhood trauma in relation to
cognitive development and intelligence.
A comprehensive search of the computerised databases Medline, PsycINFO and
CINAHL was conducted in order to identify papers investigating cognitive functioning following
childhood trauma. The researchers uses eligibility criteria that included studies that: (i) were
published in English and involved an experimental or quasi- experimental design; (ii)
investigated the cognitive outcomes of children (less than 18-years) exposed to familial
maltreatment- related trauma and/or non-familial maltreatment related trauma with current or
resolved PTSS or PTSD; (iii) included individuals without neurological conditions (e.g., history
Childhood Trauma and Intelligence 3
of TBI) or other medical disorders, which could confound cognitive findings. (iv) used validated
clinical measures of cognitive functioning (i.e., that demonstrate psychometric properties and
norms and were not designed specifically for the research study); and (v) reported data that could
be used in a meta-analysis. The search included papers published from January 1983 to
September 2014. The total number of articles eligible for the meta-analysis was 27, totalling
1526 participants, including 412 trauma-exposed children (PTSD unknown), 300 children with
PTSD, 323 children without PTSD (PTSD-), and 491 trauma-naive controls.
Initial analyses were conducted on all cognitive constructs combined. Secondary analyses
were conducted on the separate cognitive constructs. Each cognitive measure and/or subtest was
assigned to one of 11 major cognitive constructs based on existing literature and test
psychometrics. Cognitive constructs included general intelligence, language/verbal,
perceptual/visuospatial, information processing, overall learning and memory, verbal learning

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