Childhood Maltreatment and Communication Development Purpose: Maltreatment of children is a common and international problem. The consequences of maltreatment often are misunderstood or unknown. In this article, I will define maltreatment and explore the communication development of children with a history of maltreatment. I reviewed the literature on children experiencing maltreatment, including articles describing the ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2012
Childhood Maltreatment and Communication Development
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Deborah Hwa-Froelich
    Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO
  • Disclosure: Deborah Hwa-Froelich is the author of the book “Supporting Development in Internationally Adopted Children” and receives royalties from the sale of this book
    Disclosure: Deborah Hwa-Froelich is the author of the book “Supporting Development in Internationally Adopted Children” and receives royalties from the sale of this book×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Articles
Article   |   August 01, 2012
Childhood Maltreatment and Communication Development
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, August 2012, Vol. 13, 43-53. doi:10.1044/sbi13.2.43
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, August 2012, Vol. 13, 43-53. doi:10.1044/sbi13.2.43
Abstract

Purpose: Maltreatment of children is a common and international problem. The consequences of maltreatment often are misunderstood or unknown. In this article, I will define maltreatment and explore the communication development of children with a history of maltreatment.

I reviewed the literature on children experiencing maltreatment, including articles describing the communication development of children remaining in a maltreating environment, children who were recently removed from maltreatment, children in foster care, and children adopted from orphanages. In each study, I found evidence that children who experienced maltreatment demonstrated lower language performance or poorer social knowledge than children who had not experienced maltreatment.

Conclusion: Children who have experienced abuse and/or neglect are at risk of poorer receptive, expressive, and social language development. I will discuss the clinical implications of this finding.

Acknowledgements
I would like to thank Sara C. Steele, PhD, for her helpful comments on this paper.
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