Monday, May 7, 2018

Early family and community support are essential to children's academic success

A new study found that as childhood stress increases, school performance and attitudes decrease in a strong and graded fashion. Similarly, children with increased family and community protective factors have improved outcomes in school. Findings from the study will be presented during the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2018 Meeting in Toronto.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with poor outcomes in adults. However, the impact of ACEs on school performance and factors that may be protective are not well studied.
To conduct the study, a cross-sectional analysis of demographically weighted data from over 65,000 children, between the ages of six and 17 in the 2011/2012 National Survey of Children Health (NSCH) was performed.

In the survey were nine ACE questions based on negative experiences, and graded questions on protective factors (PROs), including safe neighborhood, non-smoking environments and meals. School outcome measurements were attendance, homework completion and attitude towards school itself.

"Our study showed a strong correlation between childhood stresses and poor school performance," said Dr. Angelica Robles, one of the authors of the study. "Similarly, strong PRO scores revealed improved school outcomes. Primary care providers, clinicians and educators should consider screening for both ACEs and PROs in order to identify risks and strengths to guide treatment and referral."

Dr. Angelica Robles will present the abstract, "Associations of Adverse Childhood Experiences & Protective Factors with School Performance & Attitudes in School Age Children," during the PAS 2018 Meeting on Tuesday, May 8 at 9:45 a.m. EDT

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