Abuse and Child Development
This paper will investigate the abuse of children and some of the ways which young children are affected developmentally. I will try and present an overview of the major types of abuse but my big focus and most of my research has been to cover sexual abuse and its effect on development in young children and how it can affect brain development.
Child abuse is defined as the mistreatment of children or minors, resulting in a variety of harmful and damaging results with regard to the well being and safety of the victim. Child abuse can range in the details and circumstances in which the offence takes place; child abuse can take place in a direct physical fashion, which includes attack and physical assault however child abuse can take place verbally and psychologically also. Abuse includes physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, verbal, and neglect (medical and other).
Physical abuse is physical force or violence that results in bodily injury, pain or impairment. It includes assault, battery and inappropriate restraint. In the U.S., state and local protective services investigated 3.6 million reports of child abuse or neglect in 2006. Of these, more than 900,000 children were identified as victims of child maltreatment. (Craig & Dunn, Ex.: 2010, p. 195) Parents are most likely to be perpetrators of child maltreatment: In 2006, 83% of victims were abused by a parent, either acting alone or with another person. Mothers are somewhat more likely than father to maltreat their children, in part because they spend more time with them. (Craig & Dunn, Ex.: 2010, p. 198)
Physical abuse can have a number of long term effects. It can cause physical injury, brain damage, and may lead to emotional development. The effects will depend upon the child’s age, the frequency they are abused and how long it has been happening. But sometimes a severe isolated incident can affect a child as badly as on-going abuse. The impact of abuse is of course the initial pain and suffering and medical problems caused by the physical injury. The longer the abuse goes on, the more serious the impact. Chronic abuse can result in physical disabilities, brain damage, hearing loss and eye damage. ( www.healthyplace.com 2008, p. 1)
There are significant signs of psychological trauma due to any kind of abuse. Children experience feelings of low self esteem and depression. Many exhibit behavioral problems including aggression towards other children. Other emotional problems include hostility, fear, humiliation and the inability to express feelings. The social impacts of physical abuse include inability to form relationships, poor social skills, poor cognitive language skills, distrust of others, over-compliance with authority figures, and tendency to solve interpersonal problems with aggression. (2008, p. 1). Verbal and physical abuse has a cumulative impact on children’s socialization. Abused children are caught in damaged relationships and...