Children with histories of chronic early maltreatment within a caregiving relationship may develop complex trauma or developmental trauma and suffer from a variety of deficits in many domains. This study explored the effects of complex trauma on the development of 57 children, as measured by the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II. This is the first descriptive study to report on the significant discrepancies between chronological and developmental ages in adopted and foster children. This study found that adopted and foster children with a psychiatric diagnosis of reactive attachment disorder show developmental delay in the domains of communication, daily living skills, and socialization. The average adaptive behavior composite score for the children in this study yielded a developmental age (age equivalency) of 4.4 years, while the average chronological age was 9.9 years.
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