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University of Utah research: early childhood abuse leaves lasting consequences

SALT LAKE CITY — New research out of the University of Utah shows early childhood abuse can affect people’s lives well into adulthood.

The study led by Lee Raby, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Utah, asked if a child is abused or neglected before the age of five, does it make a difference in their later years? Raby said the answer is yes.

“Those who experienced abuse or neglect in those first few years of life were consistently showing more problematic function, both socially and academically,” Raby said.

The team studied 267 people from their birth in the 1970s into their 30s.

“The overall importance of abuse and neglect was not facing over time,” Raby said. “We used the word ‘enduring’ to capture that.”

Learn more about the study here.