The Role of Trauma Type and Age in the Relation Between Trauma Exposure and Intelligence

Austen McGuire, Yo Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Experiencing potentially traumatic events (PTEs) is associated with deficits in cognitive functioning for youth. Previous research has demonstrated that PTE type may influence the association between PTE experiences and intelligence, such that IQ scores may differ by the type of PTE experienced. Additionally, mixed findings in the literature suggest that these associations might differ by age. The current study examined the association between PTE type and IQ and how age may moderate this association. In a sample of youth in foster care (N = 328, Mage = 13.25), physical, psychological, and sexual abuse and family PTEs were directly associated with verbal and nonverbal IQ. Age significantly moderated the association between IQ and neglect and academic PTEs. Results suggest that broad PTE grouping methods or failing to account for both maltreatment and general PTEs in samples of youth in foster care may conceal differences in how PTEs relate to intellectual functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-202
Number of pages11
JournalChild Maltreatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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