The Moderation Effect of Social Support in the Relationship between Child Maltreatment and School Achievement

Rui Lopes, Carla Moleiro


This study investigated the relationship between child maltreatment, school achievement and social support, by
exploring the adaptation of the stress buffering model of social support. Data was collected on 402 children from
5th - 9th grades (383 without history of child abuse and 64 with history of child abuse). An adapted version of the
Social Support Appraisals Scale (Dubow & Ullman, 1989; Dubow et al., 1991) was used to analyze the role of
social support in the relationship between child maltreatment and school achievement. Results indicated that
abused children scored lower in Language and Math, and had more grade retentions than children without
history of abuse. Findings also revealed that perceived social support is a promoter of school achievement.
Results also indicated social support as a moderator between child abuse and school achievement, although only
partially in the direction of the adaptation of the stress buffering model. Implications for school professionals are

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Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology   ISSN 1927-0526 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0534 (Online)

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