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The Causes And Effects Of Child Abuse

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The Causes and Effects of Child Abuse

Child abuse is the brutal act of some adults on children. This social problem subjects thousands of kids to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and its effects are usually severe. Each year, thousands of children are mistreated and harmed because of reasons such as psychological malfunctions of the abusers who choose to display their complexes on vulnerable children who are unable to defend themselves. Child abuse is a problem that includes many types, has many causes, and affects the innocent, abused children negatively and leaves deep emotional scars in them.

Child abuse is a disturbing reflection of modern society. The reasons that child abuse occurs vary as the short and long-term impacts of that abuse. There are certain correlates, however, that are loosely connected with a child's likelihood to be the victim of abuse. Whatever the causes, however, the impacts are significant. Often, those impacts linger with a child for the rest of their lives.

Since the 1960s, child abuse has become a major social concern. Due to the increased awareness, laws have been passed requiring public officials such as community health personnel and teachers to report suspected abuse. Policies are also in place outlining the correct response to child abuse. It is reassuring that people are becoming more aware of the problem and more willing to report suspected abuse due to a heightened awareness.

Child abuse can be either an act of commission or omission. It can take the form of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. Child abuse can entail actual physical harm in which a child sustains physical damage and emotional harm in which the charge is endangered psychologically. This harm can be either actually occurring or considered potential given the circumstances of the family. Even when a child isn't the primary victim of abuse but instead witnesses the abuse of another the impact can be tremendous. These child witnesses suffer humiliation, isolation, vulnerability, difficulty in concentrating, and even disorientation (Ellensweig-Tepper, 2000). Ellensweig-Tepper (2000) identifies post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as one of the manifestations domestic violence in the child that has witnessed that violence. Any family stressor can result in child abuse. Typical stressors include financial problems, health, job problems, marital difficulties or the death of someone who is close to the family or the perpetrator. In most instances the perpetrator of the abuse is an immediate family member or close associate.

In most cases of child abuse, the perpetrator has been a victim or child abuse themselves at some earlier point in their history. Adolescent parents and low-income families are more often guilty of child abuse than are other ages and economic levels. Despite the many variables that Thompson (2005) was forced to acknowledge in his research investigating the relationship between child abuse, depression, and suicidality, Thompson (2005) was able to conclude that children who are mistreated and those exposed to community and domestic violence are at increased risk of suicidal ideation, even by age 8.

There are other correlates reported by other authors between child abuse, depression, and suicidality. Kotlowitz (1999) examined the relationship of these phenomena with poverty. These factors resulted time and time again in the same fatalistic attitude by those trapped in poverty and can, in themselves, perpetuate both direct and indirect child abuse, and consequently in depression and suicidality in the abused child.

Low education levels are also associated with a greater likelihood for child abuse. Special needs children are at a higher risk of abuse. Even children who suffer from chronic health problems such as colic are more likely to experience abuse. The combination of a high-risk child with a high risk parent is potentially alarming.

While there are certain factors that are associated with abuse, those factors are not always reliable. Researchers themselves, in fact, often disagree with what causes abuse. Contradicting the research of Larson (2001) who found no correlation between child abuse and ethnicity, for example, Thompson (2005) found that ethnic background was an important demographic variable in the equation involving physical abuse and tendencies towards depressive symptoms and suicidality.

To further complicate the problems in predicting and diagnosing abuse, abused children often deny the abuse, hoping that it will go away on its own. These children often try to blame themselves for what is happening, to rationalize that if they could only behave in a certain way their abuser would end their . Some children even develop multiple personalities and begin to distance themselves from others as a way to deal with their abuse (Leudar and Sharrock, 1999).

It is important to remember when considering child abuse that not all incidents of child abuse are caused by male perpetrators. This is even true with sexual abuse. While there is considerable literature on male-perpetuated child sex abuse, however, there is little that relates to female perpetrators. To further complicate the task of understanding the cause and effects of this aspect of child abuse, there are many misperceptions in the studies that do exist. An example of a particularly widespread misperception is the belief that abuse carried out by women is harmless in comparison to those acts carried out by men. At least one research



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