Child Abuse Essay | Substance Abuse | Stepfamily
Psychologically, children who have been abused tend to have poor self-images or are passive, withdrawn, or clingy. They may be angry individuals who are filled with rage, anxiety, and a variety of fears. They are often aggressive, disruptive, and depressed. Many abused children have flashbacks and nightmares about the abuse they have experienced, and this may cause sleep problems as well as drug and alcohol problems. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and antisocial personality disorder are both typical among maltreated children. Research has also shown that most abused children fail to reach “successful psychosocial functioning,” and are thus not resilient and do not resume a “normal life” after the abuse has ended.
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research on child abuse and neglect and to encourage research collaboration and data collection in related fields. The federal government spent about $15 million in fiscal year 1992 on research directly related to child maltreatment. As a first step in strengthening the research portfolio, the panel recommends that the research budgets of the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Justice that are relevant to child maltreatment studies be doubled over the next three years. Second, the panel recommends that the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect convene a consortium of government agencies, private foundations, and research scientists to develop a task force to identify ways in which research on programs relevant to child maltreatment (such as substance abuse, spousal violence and child abuse, child homicides, juvenile delinquency, and so forth) can be more systematically integrated into the research infrastructure for child abuse and neglect.
Research on child maltreatment can provide scientific information that will help with the solution of a broad range of individual and social disorders. Research in this field is demonstrating that experiences with child abuse and neglect are a major component of many child and adult mental and behavioral disorders, including delayed development, poor academic performance, delinquency, depression, alcoholism, substance abuse, deviant sexual behaviors, and domestic and criminal violence.
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In the article “Child abuse in plain View” the author describes spanking as a type of abuse that happens behind closed doors (“Child abuse in plain View”).
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The first explanation centers on the individual pathology of a parent or caretaker who is abusive. This theory focuses on the idea that people who abuse their children have something wrong with their individual personality or biological makeup. Such psychological pathologies may include having anger control problems; being depressed or having post-partum depression; having a low tolerance for frustration (e.g., children can be extremely frustrating: they don’t always listen; they constantly push the line of how far they can go; and once the line has been established, they are constantly treading on it to make sure it hasn’t moved. They are dependent and self-centered, so caretakers have very little privacy or time to themselves); being rigid (e.g., having no tolerance for differences—for example, what if your son wanted to play with dolls? A rigid father would not let him, laugh at him for wanting to, punish him when he does, etc.); having deficits in empathy (parents who cannot put themselves in the shoes of their children cannot fully understand what their children need emotionally); or being disorganized, inefficient, and ineffectual. (Parents who are unable to manage their own lives are unlikely to be successful at managing the lives of their children, and since many children want and need limits, these parents are unable to set them or adhere to them.)
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In conducting this review, the panel has recognized the special status of studies of child maltreatment. The experience of child abuse or neglect from any perspective, including victim, perpetrator, professional, or witness, elicits strong emotions that may distort the design, interpretation, or support of empirical studies. The role of the media in dramatizing selected cases of child maltreatment has increased public awareness, but it has also produced a climate in which scientific objectivity may be sacrificed in the name of urgency or humane service. Many concerned citizens, legislators, child advocates, and others think we already know enough to address the root causes of child maltreatment. Critical evaluations of treatment and prevention services are not supported due to both a lack of funding and a lack of appreciation for the role that scientific analysis can play in improving the quality of existing services and identifying new opportunities for interventions. The existing research base is small in volume and spread over a wide variety of topics. The contrast between the importance of the problem and the difficulty of approaching it has encouraged the panel to proceed carefully, thoroughly distinguishing suppositions from facts when they appear.