What Happens To Adult Black Women Who Suffered Abuse Before Age 11


Little GirlBy Staff Blogger

Many people underestimate the far reaching effects of childhood. Some adults are not aware of how damaging or traumatic their childhoods were until they are adults and are trying to function in professional and personal relationships and are unable to.

The Slone Epidemiology Center in Boston, Massachusetts has recently done a study that links African-American women who were abused before age 11 with a greater chance of having adult asthma compared to those who were not abused as a child. The study was led by Patricia Coogan, DSc, and published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

This study followed 28,456 African-American women who were all a part of the Black Women’s Health Study between 1995 and 2011. They all filled out surveys and questionnaires. They also provided information about s*xual and physical abuse history up to the age of 11 and also from the ages of 12-18.

The results of the study showed that there was a twenty percent increase in adult on-set asthma in those women that had been abused as children. This was truer for physical abuse as opposed to sexual abuse. There was no evidence in a link between asthma and abuse during adolescence however. They attribute the higher risk of asthma being due to the stress that they endure as a child. This is the first study of this kind.

In 2010 statistics from the United States Department of Health and Human Services showed that over 695,000 children from the ages of 0-17 were neglected or abused in some way. This was identified by agencies run by Child Protective Services. Twenty-two percent of those children were African-American.

The Black Women’s Health Study is the largest study in the country that follows African-American women and their health. The researchers at the Slone Epidemiology Center are the ones who lead the study, and have followed 59,000 women since 1995. They take biennial surveys and study different health issues that affect African-American women in the country.



  1. Dr. Zoe Spencer on

    This is report is really the result of sloppy methodology and more than sloppy findings. It is easy to do a simple regression or a bivariate analysis wherein variables are directly linked by statistics alone. However, there are a whole host of mediating and intervening variables that can mediate the relationship between Childhood abuse and adult onset asthma. Therefore, a path analysis model would have been a far better methodology to weigh the relationship between variables. Are there socio economic, demographic factors, family factors, such as substance abuse or smoking in the household that influences the relationship between abuse and adult asthma. I am tired of these governmental agencies putting out psuedo scientific studies that proport to address issues that affect the AFrican American community using shoddy methodology. I definitely question both the validity and reliability of this study and would certainly love to know how they ruled out other mediating factors that could influence the direct relationship between these variables.

  2. June Cleaver on

    This article is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read, well almost read, I could get passed the first paragraph.

  3. Pingback: Fatherlessness - Grace Biskie

  4. Pingback: “Friend-Less” Part II | AM I ALONE?

Leave A Reply