The accessibility and subsequent influence of social capital on academic achievement in children identified as at-risk and/or confirmed victims of maltreatment in the United States
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With over 700,000 children involved with the child welfare system each year, our society must address the issues that result in their maltreatment and invest in preventative and supportive measures for this population. Much of the research focuses on the most severe cases in which children are placed in foster care, rather than those remaining in the care of custodial parent(s). Using the theoretical idea of social capital, especially as pioneered by James Coleman, the effect of social capital on potential academic achievement was evaluated on young adolescents identified as at-risk for maltreatment. Also considered were the effects of risk severity as indicators of potential academic achievement. Data was collected as part of a longitudinal research project conducted by the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. Unfortunately, no conclusive support was found connecting social capital to reading scores, but differences among sample populations were discovered and discussed.