Neuropsychology and neuroimaging studies have demonstrated important impairmentson cognitive functions and alterations on brain structure in maltreated children. There are evidences about corpus callosum reduction, which is responsible for the inter-hemispheric comunication. However, there are no Neuropsychological studies focusing on discrepancies between right and left brain functions in this population. Objective: to investigate differences between right (non-verbal) and left (verbal)-mediated brain hemispheres functions in adolescents who had suffered maltreatment (moderate and high stress group) and those who had not suffered maltreatment (low stress group), but had lived stressful events of life cycle, such as mourning, separations, etc. Method: neuropsychological evaluation of verbal and non-verbal tasks in 78 adolescents, from 12 to 16 years old divided into three groups (low, moderate and high stress) considering the level of trauma suffered during their lives, evaluated through the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ/QUESI - Grassi-Oliveira et al., 2006). All adolescents will be assessed by clinical psychiatric and pediatric interviews, besides inventories and questionnaires that will be used in order to investigate life history (ie: Childhood Trauma Questionnaire - QUESI) and to detect possible psychiatric disorders (ie, Kiddie-Sads-Present and Lifetime Version - K-SADS-PL). The neuropsychological assessment will be based on tests which will characterize verbal and non-verbal functions, as well as the analisys of a possible discrepancy between Verbal and Performance IQ, as well as other tasks (ie. Finger Windows, Dichotic Listening and Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure). Moreover, this is the first study to investigate emotion recognition in this population through the Emotion recognition in human faces (Gur et al., 2001), related to right brain hemisphere functions. It is very important to investigate neuropsychological functioning in maltreated children and adolescents, since they are in a period of biological and psychicological maturation and thus need specific treatment interventions to reestablish the normal development. (AU)
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
DE OLIVEIRA, PAULA APPROBATO;
MILIONI, ANA LUIZA;
DOS SANTOS, BERNARDO;
BUSATTO, GERALDO F.;
NUNES, PAULA V.;
CUNHA, PAULO JANNUZZI.
Social skills and psychopathic traits in maltreated adolescents.
EUROPEAN CHILD & ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY,
Web of Science Citations: 6.
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