Childhood Maltreatment Predicts Poor Economic and Educational Outcomes in the Transition to Adulthood

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Abstract

Objectives

To test whether childhood maltreatment was a predictor of (1) having low educational qualifications and (2) not being in education, employment, or training among young adults in the United Kingdom today.

Methods

Participants were from the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative UK cohort of 2232 twins born in 1994 to 1995. Mothers reported on child maltreatment when participants were aged 5, 7, 10, and 12 years. Participants were interviewed about their vocational status at age 18 years.

Results

The unadjusted odds of having low educational qualifications or of not being in education, employment, or training at age 18 years were more than 2 times greater for young people with a childhood history of maltreatment versus those without. These associations were reduced after adjustments for individual and family characteristics. Youths who reported having a supportive adult in their lives had better education outcomes than did youths who had less support.

Conclusions

Closer collaboration between the child welfare and education systems is warranted to improve vocational outcomes for maltreated youths.

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