The within poverty differences in the occurrence and developmental outcomes of physical neglect Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • Shanahan, Meghan Elizabeth
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Maternal and Child Health
Abstract
  • The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the within poverty differences in the risk factors for physical neglect, as well as isolate the impact of physical neglect on the developmental trajectories of impoverished children. A secondary data analysis of data from the Longitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect were used to address these goals. The first paper of this dissertation examined the within poverty differences in the occurrence of physical neglect. Logistic regression analyses revealed that poor children whose caregivers have depression are more likely to experience physical neglect than impoverished children whose caregivers do not have depression (p=.0072). Poor children whose caregivers have a history of physical and sexual abuse were more likely to experience physical neglect than poor children whose caregivers did not have a history of child abuse (p=.0096). Impoverished children living in lower quality neighborhoods were more likely to experience physical neglect than poor children who live in higher quality neighborhoods (p=.0464). The second paper of this dissertation examined the influence of physical neglect on the developmental trajectories of impoverished children. Three developmental outcomes were examined using Latent Curve Modeling: academic performance, internalizing behaviors, and externalizing behaviors. Impoverished children who were physically neglected had worse academic performance at age eight than poor children who did not experience physical neglect (p=.000). The academic performance of physically neglected children increased at a higher rate over time than the academic performance of children who were not physically neglected in this impoverished sample (p=0.054). Living in a higher quality neighborhood was academically protective for impoverished children, whether they experienced physical neglect or not (p<.05). Physical neglect did not have an impact on the trajectories of internalizing or externalizing behaviors in this sample of poor children; however, other within poverty differences were identified. Poor children whose caregivers had depression were more likely to display internalizing (p<.05) and externalizing problems (p<.01) at age eight than poor children whose caregivers did not have depression. Policy and practice implications of the findings are discussed.
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  • In Copyright
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  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Maternal and Child Health."
Advisor
  • Kotch, Jonathan
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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  • Open access
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