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School Engagement

The following is a summary of the systematic review findings up to the date of our most recent literature search. If you have a specific clinical case, we strongly recommend you read all of the relevant references as cited and look for additional material published outside our search dates.

Three studies looked at the relationship between neglect or emotional maltreatment and school engagement 1-3. Only one of these studies was comparative 2


Three different tools were used in these studies


  • One study observed that neglected children were no more likely to drop out of school than their non-maltreated peers 2
  • Another study found that neglected boys had greater school engagement whilst neglected girls were less engaged at school 3
  • One study evaluating academic achievement found no association between this and neglect 1
  • Only one study evaluated emotional maltreatment and academic performance and found no association 1


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  1. Kools S, Paul SM, Norbeck JS, Robbins NR. Dimensions of health in young people in foster care. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health. 2009;21(2):221-233 [Pubmed]

  2. Thornberry TP, Ireland TO, Smith CA. The importance of timing: the varying impact of childhood and adolescent maltreatment on multiple problem outcomes. Development and Psychopathology. 2001;13(4):957-979 [Pubmed]

  3. Tyler KA, Johnson KA, Brownridge DA. A longitudinal study of the effects of child maltreatment on later outcomes among high-risk adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 2008;37(5):506-521 [Abstract available from Springer Link]


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