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As a Matter of Fact: The Relationship Between Child Maltreatment and Academic Achievement

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2022
2 pages

This report presents eight research findings and a listing of 20 references that address the link between child maltreatment and the child victim’s academic underachievement, which is associated with long-term, negative psychosocial and economic consequences, such as higher representation in the criminal justice system, substance abuse issues, and high unemployment.



The eight research findings reported are that 1) Children exposed to maltreatment are at increased risk of educational underachievement, including lower verbal and math scores; 2) Neglected children have poorer academic performance than physically maltreated children; 3) Maltreated children are at substantially higher risk than non-maltreated children of repeating a grade; 5) Maltreated children are at increased risk of dropping out of school before high school graduation; 6) Maltreated children are more likely to be referred for special education services; 7) Maltreated children are more likely than their peers to exhibit poor social skills and classroom behavioral problems; and 8) Children’s risk of poor academic functioning is substantially heightened by multiple victimizations.


Date Published: January 1, 2022