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Studying The Effects Of Early Child Abuse: $2.25 Million Grant

| June 29, 2009 at 09:13 am

This summer, the University of Rochester’s Mt. Hope Family Center will begin a large-scale, comprehensive study of the effects of child abuse. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the five-year, $2.25 million research project aims to understand how a complex host of factors – from genetics and family environment to hormonal regulation, personality traits, and brain activity – influence the well-being and mental health of children who have experienced child maltreatment.

“What is novel about this study is that it seeks to understand these children from multiple perspectives – neurocognitive, neuroendocrine, and neurophysiological as well as psychological,” said Center Research Director Fred Rogosch. “We will obtain very diverse assessments on the same child, providing a holistic view of the multiple ways in which child maltreatment affects development,” Rogosch said.

“Our focus on what factors support resilience is equally important,” Rogosch added. “Many abused children go on to lead productive, well-adjusted lives. Identifying these pathways to success is vital because it says to children and adults that ‘they are not doomed’ by an abusive childhood.” (more…)