Infants Suffering from Domestic Violence Have Poorer Cognitive Development

A new study from the University of Missouri-Columbia finds that infants who live in homes with domestic violence often have worse academic outcomes in school due to neurodevelopmental lags and a higher risk for a variety of health issues, including gastrointestinal distress, trouble eating, and sleeping, as well as stress and illness.Infants Suffering from Domestic Violence Have Poorer Cognitive Development

After administering neurodevelopmental tests during home visits three, six, and 12 months after birth, she was surprised to find the infants of women who had only one male partner who abused them had worse cognitive outcomes compared to infants of women with multiple male partners, only some of whom were abusive.

Lead researcher Linda Bullock, a professor emerita at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, says: “For the women with only one partner who abused them, the infant's father, the father may not have provided any physical or financial support or played an active role in the child's life. It can be difficult for busy, single moms struggling to make ends meet to provide the toys and stimulation their infants need to reach crucial developmental milestones.”

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