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The effects of risk and protective factors on maltreatment for individuals with intellectual disability




Pinks, Miranda E., author
Riggs, Nathaniel, advisor
Fidler, Deborah, committee member
Brown, Samantha, committee member

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Research consistently demonstrates that children with intellectual disability (ID) are at a higher risk for child maltreatment than typically developing children. While the relationship between child maltreatment and disability is well-established, no longitudinal studies have assessed families of children with ID for early risk and protective factors associated with later maltreatment. This study drew on data from the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) to examine children with ID in five samples across the U.S. who were at risk for abuse and neglect at an early age. The relationship between early risk and protective factors and maltreatment was explored through a series of regression analyses for children with and without ID. Results replicated the finding that children with ID experienced higher counts of child maltreatment than children without ID. Child behavior problems predicted later maltreatment counts for children with ID and without ID, and parenting stress predicted maltreatment only for children without ID. The findings indicate that at least some of the processes involved in child maltreatment are the same for children with and without ID, including child behavior problems. Future research should be devoted to better understanding why children with ID are more likely to experience maltreatment and higher counts of maltreatment allegations compared to children without ID.


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dynamic family systems
risk and protective factors
intellectual disability


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