A longitudinal study of cognitive development and mental health in maltreated children entering foster care

Torkamani, Asma (2018) A longitudinal study of cognitive development and mental health in maltreated children entering foster care. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3326694


Background: Childhood maltreatment has repeatedly been associated with poorer mental health and cognitive outcomes. Although there is evidence that maltreated children in institutions can make cognitive gains following entry-to- care, especially when entering care at a younger age, the potential for developmental catch-up is not known amongst children in foster care. Similarly, despite the established presence of poorer mental health and cognitive outcomes in this population, the relationship between mental health and cognitive development is not well understood.

Aims: This study aimed to explore the rate of cognitive development over time in a sample of maltreated children in foster care, and to investigate the relationship between mental health at entry-to-care and later cognitive function.

Methods: The sample consisted of thirty-two maltreated children, recruited for the on-going Best Services Trial. Assessments of mental health and cognition were administered following entry-to-care, and cognitive assessments were repeated after 15 and 30 months.

Results: The results suggested that childhood maltreatment is a possible risk factor for poorer cognition and that there is scope for developmental catch-up following entry-to-care, particularly for younger children. Mental health at entry- to-care did not influence subsequent cognitive ability.

Conclusions: The findings of this study highlight the potential benefits of early placement of maltreated children to a place of greater safety, in aid of supporting their cognitive development.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Childhood maltreatment, cognitive function, memory, executive function, mental health.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McLeod, Dr. Hamish
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Dr Asma Torkamani
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-30825
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2018 07:50
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2018 12:18
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/30825

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