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How Maltreatment Of A Child Can Have Long Term Effects

912 words - 4 pages

Child abuse is considered socially unacceptable, unfortunately it happens every day. The effects from childhood maltreatment are long lasting and potentially life threatening. Childhood maltreatment is an act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other care giver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child (Saha, 2012, p. 213). Child abuse acts are committed behind closed doors and lack the necessary attention they need to be prevented. Research has shown that the acts of abuse do not stop behind closed doors. Maltreatment of a child causes effects such as; relationship violence, suicidal behaviors, and repercussions to the brains structure and function.
Relationship Violence
When adolescent years approach a child, one of the first noticeable causes of childhood maltreatment can be relationship violence. When an adolescent begins to date the anxieties of a new relationship can produce aggressive and at time physically abusive behavior. From a social-cognitive perspective, child maltreatment and exposure to violence at home predisposes individuals to approach interactions with a heightened tendency to process and interpret cues of threat and conflict and to view violence as a legitimate response (Wolfe, 2009, p. 22). An adolescent that has been exposed to violence and maltreatment could be provoked and become dominant and or violent. Consequently, young adults that suffered from maltreatment often approach relationships with less empathy for others (Wolfe, 2009, p.22). They also suffer from diminished self-efficacy when resolving conflict without losing control of their temper or behavior (Wolfe, 2009, p. 22). Young adults that possess less empathy to other’s feelings and emotions can cause unbearable pain and suffering to their partner. The potential for violence in adolescent relationships increases significantly from middle to late adolescence for both girls and boys, partly as a function of increased jealousy and conflict (Wolfe, 2009, pp. 22-23). This can be related to a lack of self-confidence and unclear understanding of their individuality. Due to a lack of high self-esteem a teenager may have escalated behavior resulting in excessive levels of conflict and high levels of jealousy.
Suicidal Behavior
Suicidal attempts are another result of childhood maltreatment. Suicidal attempts are potentially life threatening. The Journal of Family Violence states that child abuse is an emotional, physical, economic and sexual maltreatment of a person below the age of eighteen (Saha, 2012, p. 213). Methods of prevention include family therapy, interventions and counseling (Saha, 2012, p.22). These techniques allow the adolescent to express their feelings without any fear of punishment or consequences with hopes of bringing emotional healing. Young adults with a history of childhood maltreatment were three times more likely to become depressed or suicidal compared with individuals without such a history...

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