One third of dyslexic adults report being physically abused during childhood

July 3, 2014, University of Toronto

Adults who have dyslexia are much more likely to report they were physically abused before they turned 18 than their peers without dyslexia, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.

Thirty-five per cent of adults with report they were physically abused before they turned 18. In contrast, seven per cent of those without dyslexia reported that they had experienced .

"Even after accounting for age, race, sex and other early adversities such as parental addictions, childhood physical abuse was still associated with a six-fold increase in the odds of dyslexia" says co-author Esme Fuller-Thomson, professor and Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair at University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.

Investigators examined a representative sample of 13,054 adults aged 18 and over in the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey including 1,020 respondents who reported that they had been physically abused during their childhood and 77 who reported that they had been diagnosed by a health professional with dyslexia.

The results were in a study published online this week in Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

"Our data do not allow us to know the direction of the association. It is possible that for some children, the presence of dyslexia and related may place them at relatively higher risk for physical abuse, perhaps due to adult frustrations with chronic learning failure" said study co-author, Stephen Hooper, professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, and Associate Dean and Chair of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Alternatively, given the known association between brain dysfunction and maltreatment, it could be that the experience of physical abuse may also contribute to and/or exacerbate such learning problems, secondary to increased neurologic burden."

Fuller-Thomson assserts "Although we do not know if the abuse-dyslexia association is causative, with one-third of adults with dyslexia reporting , it is important that providers and school-based practitioners working with children with dyslexia screen them for physical abuse."

Explore further: Thirty percent of adults with ADD report childhood physical abuse

Related Stories

Thirty percent of adults with ADD report childhood physical abuse

March 6, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Thirty percent of adults with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) report they were physically abused before they turned 18. This compares to seven per cent ...

Women who were physically abused during childhood more likely to be obese

August 13, 2013
Women with a history of childhood physical abuse are more likely to become obese adults, according to a new study by University of Toronto researchers.

Parents' addiction, unemployment and divorce are risk factors for childhood abuse

December 21, 2012
Adults who had parents who struggled with addiction, unemployment and divorce are 10 times more likely to have been victims of childhood physical abuse, according to a new study prepared by the University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash ...

Childhood abuse linked to later thyroid problems for women

August 2, 2013
(HealthDay)—Women who suffered physical abuse during childhood are at increased risk for thyroid problems, according to a new study.

Physical abuse may raise risk of suicidal thoughts

April 24, 2012
The study, published online this month in the journal Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, found that approximately one-third of adults who were physically abused in childhood had seriously considered taking their own life. ...

Remission from depression much slower in adults who were abused in childhood

January 9, 2014
Remission from depression is delayed in adults who have experienced childhood physical abuse or parental addictions, a new study by University of Toronto researchers has found. The study is published this week in the journal ...

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.