Development in children following abuse and nonorganic failure to thrive

Am J Dis Child. 1984 Aug;138(8):764-7. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140460053018.


Thirty-nine children who had been abused an average of 5 1/2 years earlier and 14 children who had been admitted to the hospital with nonorganic failure to thrive (NOFTT) 13 years earlier were studied to look at similarities and differences in their development. Each group was studied in relation to a comparison group matched for age, sex, social class, and ethnic background. The abused children and those with NOFTT were similar in their language ability, and were significantly behind their comparison groups in language development, reading age, and verbal intelligence. The abused children, but not the group who had NOFTT, were significantly behind their comparison group in general intelligence, interpersonal relations, and self-concept, but in contrast to the children with NOFTT they were not delayed in social maturity. The long-term adverse sequelae of these two conditions emphasize the need for a long-term, child-centered approach.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Abuse*
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Failure to Thrive / psychology*
  • Female
  • Growth
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Language Development
  • Male
  • Psychological Tests
  • Reading
  • Social Behavior
  • Verbal Learning