Abused students can return to school and thrive with educator help, researcher finds

Nov 08, 2011

A new study from the University of Missouri shows that children who are abused can return to school and do well academically if teachers can help them control their emotions, pay attention to detail and stay motivated.

"The first step, of course, is for teachers to watch for signs and stop the abuse to the child," said Stephen Whitney, associate professor in the Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology in the MU College of Education. "My colleagues and I worked with to examine to determine what factors indicate future achievement, and of those factors, what ones actually translate to the classroom. Teachers and counselors can help the student succeed by focusing on daily living skills."

The study compared the duration of abuse with math and reading scores in 702 children, ages 6 to 10. The results indicate that the length and type of abuse had the most effect on the children's , but that students who were successful in daily had the most achievement.

Whitney suggests that teachers or even can help abused children by focusing on the following daily skills:

  • Self-regulation (controlling thoughts and behaviors)
  • Attention to detail (accomplishing tasks with focus on all aspects of the tasks)
  • Motivation (finding challenges that inspire learning, including a focus on strengths)
"The key to a successful response to an unprecedented life event is to control what you can. Children who can translate that skill into the classroom can have an advantage over others who cannot," Whitney said. "Teachers are the gatekeepers to reporting abuse, getting kids the help they need, and then providing crucial support in helping those kids overcome their past."

Explore further: Change 'authoritarian' football culture to produce future stars, says research

More information: The study, "Academic achievement despite child maltreatment: A longitudinal study," was published in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Relationships Improve Student Success

Jun 29, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- When students are underachieving, school policymakers often examine class size, curriculum and funding, but University of Missouri researchers suggest establishing relationships may be a powerful ...

Teacher influence persists in early grades

Jul 27, 2011

Having consistently good teachers in elementary school appears to be as important for student achievement as small class sizes, according to new research by a Michigan State University education scholar.

Keeping kids' minds sharp during summer break

Jun 18, 2007

School is out for the summer, but with parents' help, informal summer learning can be "in" with kids. Simple, low-cost steps like turning off the TV and visiting the local public library or nature center can introduce children ...

Preventing School Violence Needs to Start at Young Age

Mar 17, 2008

By the time a child enters third grade, it may be too late to change behavioral issues that could lead to more serious problems later in life, including violent and aggressive behavior. A University of Missouri professor ...

Recommended for you

Residents of 'boom time' suburbs face unsustainable commutes

20 hours ago

People living in the 'boom time' suburbs of Dublin are more likely to endure unsustainable commutes to work than those living in older accommodation. Research shows that people living in newly constructed housing in the Greater ...

Male-biased tweeting

Apr 23, 2014

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Google+ boss leaving the company

The executive credited with bringing the Google+ social network to life is leaving the Internet colossus after playing a key role there for nearly eight years.