The Education of Abused and Neglected Children: Placement into and the Effects of Special Education
Kevin Gee

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of California, Davis

Primary Discipline

Human Development
In 2012, over 6.3 million children in the US were involved in reported cases of maltreatment, which can include neglect, physical abuse, psychological trauma, and/or sexual abuse. Though approximately 25% of maltreated children are placed into special education for disabilities often linked to maltreatment, many others qualify for special education, but are not placed into special education. Unfortunately, there is a lack of explanations for why their special education needs go unfulfilled; further, evidence of the effects of special education on maltreated children’s outcomes is limited. Thus, in my proposed quantitative investigation, I will examine (1) factors determining whether maltreated children with disabilities are placed into special education; and (2) whether special education improves educational outcomes for maltreated children with disabilities. I will analyze data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being II (NSCAW-II) using hierarchical linear modeling and the quasi-experimental method of propensity score matching. My research can identify salient factors that our public education and child welfare systems can potentially leverage to improve maltreated children’s prospects of receiving special education services. Moreover, my work will contribute new knowledge critical in informing the debate over strategies to best meet the educational needs of maltreated students with disabilities.
About Kevin Gee
Kevin A. Gee is an assistant professor in the School of Education at UC Davis and a faculty research affiliate with the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research. His central research focuses on the education-health nexus. In his research, he evaluates whether and how education systems can improve children’s health and well-being via school-based health policies and programs. He also investigates how the social organization of schools can protect and promote the well-being of vulnerable and marginalized children, including children of abuse and neglect, students of color and low-income students. To conduct his research, he uses quantitative methods to analyze large-scale secondary datasets. Dr. Gee’s research has been funded through the Spencer Foundation and a Young Scholars Program award from the Foundation for Child Development. Dr. Gee holds degrees from UC Berkeley (B.A.), UC San Diego (Master of Pacific & International Affairs) and Harvard University (Ed.M). In 2010, he received his Ed.D. in Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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