Child Abuse and Neglect (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
In the United States during 2008, approximately 1,700 children died as a result of child maltreatment.2 Survivors are vulnerable to long-term emotional damage. Typically, children are abused at an age when they are not equipped with life experience and reasoning abilities to understand that it is not their fault. They suffer developmental setbacks, physical pain, and emotional anguish. Abuse and neglect in children younger than 7 years of age may lead to permanent behavior and personality changes.
Children who are abused or neglected are at increased risk for abusing other children and siblings and, later in life, their own children or elderly parents. They are also at increased risk for becoming involved in criminal acts as they get older. As adults, they will likely suffer from physical and emotional problems.
Prolonged and repeated physical abuse can permanently damage the body.
All children who have been abused or neglected or who witness domestic violence are at risk for developing mental health disorders, emotional problems, and poor social skills. These problems may occur alone or in combination. The effects of abuse or neglect are determined by how severe the abuse or neglect is, how frequently or for how long it occurs, and the relationship of the child to the abuser.
Mental health disorders that may result from abuse and neglect include:
Other emotional effects include:
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