The Newly Recognized, Shattering Effects of Child Abuse

Child Abuse
Lauren Mumford
Matt Lawrence
Joseph Rattie
Mike Worwood
Robert James
What constitutes abuse?
Coercive Parenting
Distribution of Abuse
Percent of Cases
Physical Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Other ( eg.,
Types of Maltreatment
(Source: Department of Health and Human Services, 1999.)
Social Systems
Who are the Abusers?
Some adults may be more inclined than others to abuse.
Some children may be more likely than others to be abused.
Abuse may be more likely in some contexts, communities and
cultures than others.
Often (Not Always) highly stressed younger parents with
little social support, have been abused themselves, and have a
coercive parenting style.
Who is Abused?
One child is often singled out
Example of Coercive
• Parent repeatedly makes a request from child.
The command is usually vague, intrusive, and in an
irritated voice.
• The child responds coercively (e.g. whining,
tantrums) The parent becomes frusterated and
eventually yields.
• The child stops the behavior, the parent is
• The child’s behavior ceases for a short time but
has been reinforced, the parent’s withdrawing
behavior is also reinforced.
Effects of Coercive
Parenting Practices
• Parent and sibling coercive cylces bidirectionally reinforce
aggressive behavior.
• Coercive family relationships often lead to childhood
conduct disorder.
• Early antisocial behavior is predictive of delinquency, adult crime,
alcoholism, school failure, marital distress, and employment problems
(Kazdin, 1987; Robins, 1978).
The Newly Recognized, Shattering Effects
of Child Abuse
All children are born to grow, to develop, to live, to love, and to articulate their
needs and feelings for their self-protection.
For their development children need the respect and protection of adults who
take them seriously, love them, and honestly help them to become oriented in
the world.
The normal reactions to such injury should be anger and pain; since children in this
hurtful kind of environment, however, are forbidden to express their anger
and since it would be unbearable to experience their pain all alone, they are
compelled to suppress their feelings, repress all memory of the trauma, and
idealize those guilty of the abuse. Later they will have no memory of what was
done to them.
Disassociated from the original cause, their feelings of anger, helplessness,
despair, longing, anxiety, and pain will find expression in destructive acts
against others (criminal behavior, mass murder) or against themselves (drug
addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, psychic disorders, suicide).
The Newly Recognized, Shattering
Effects of Child Abuse
If those people become parents, they will then often direct acts of
revenge for their mistreatment in childhood against their own
children, whom they use as scapegoats. Child abuse is still sanctioned-indeed, held in high regard--in our society as long as it is defined as
child-rearing. It is a tragic fact that parents beat their children in
order to escape from emotions stemming from how they were treated
by their own parents.
Is this true do you hit people to forget that you were hit?
Is some of it genetics, are we predisposed to be violent?
What do you think ?
Would you spank/hit your child?
The Studies
This recent volume by neurologist Jonathan Pincus examines social, psychological
and neurological reasons why certain people commit terrible acts of murder.
The results of this research, which Pincus details in his book, are striking. Of
the 150 people studied, 94 percent had experienced severe physical and sexual
abuse as children, including 13 of the 14 who were on death row at time they
were interviewed.
For some years now, it has been possible to prove, thanks to the use of new
therapeutic methods, that repressed traumatic experiences in childhood are
stored up in the body and, although remaining unconscious, exert their influence
even in adulthood. In addition, electronic testing of the fetus has revealed a
fact previously unknown to most adults: a child responds to and learns both
tenderness and cruelty from the very beginning.
Who Cares ?
People whose integrity has not been damaged in childhood, who were
protected, respected, and treated with honesty by their parents, will be--both
in their youth and adulthood--intelligent, responsive, empathetic, and highly
They will take pleasure in life and will not feel any need to hurt others or
They will use their power to defend themselves but not to attack others
They will not be able to do otherwise than to respect and protect those
weaker than themselves, including their children, because this is what they have
learned from their own experience and because it is this knowledge (and not the
experience of cruelty) that has been stored up inside them from the beginning.
Peer Relation of abused
General information
• Attachment theory
– Why children are not accepted in their
peer groups
– Parental role as a consequence
• Development
– Consequences of poor peer relation
– Self-concept
Normal Children
• Parents role
– Attention
– attachment
• Behavior with peers
– Skills obtained
• Peer relation
Effect of abuse
• Social outcome
– Lack of social skills
– Tend to be aggressive
• Peer relation
– disliked
• Consequences
– Why it happens
– effects
Other abuse and their
• Sexual abuse
– Self-concept
– Peer relation
• Neglect
– Self concept
– Peer relations
What are the consequences of sexual
What are the effects of child abuse?
Depending on the seriousness, the duration and the sort of abuse, some of
those who were abused in their childhood, or recently retain certain
problems due to this trauma. These can be divided into psychological,
social, sexual and physical problems.
– Psychological problems:
– Sexual problem:
– Eating disorders
– Denial and repression
– Re-experiencing
– Over irritation
Child Abuse and SelfEsteem
What is Self-Esteem
 What is your opinion?
 Definition: Self-esteem is the collection of
beliefs or feelings that we have about
ourselves, or our “self perceptions”. How we
define ourselves influences our motivations,
attitudes and behaviors, and affects our
emotional adjustment.
 Signs of a child with healthy self-esteem: tends to
enjoy interacting with others, comfortable in social
settings, enjoys group and individual activities, knows
their own strengths and weaknesses and accepts them,
has a sense of optimism
 Signs of a child with unhealthy self-esteem: hesitant to
try new things, frequently speaks negatively about his or
herself such as “I’m stupid”, gives up easily, tends to be
overly critical of and easily disappointed in themselves,
has a sense of pessimism
Continue self-esteem
 Parental involvement is key to helping a child form
accurate, healthy self-perceptions, and self-esteem
Sexual Abuse
 The engagement of a child in sexual activities for which the
child is developmentally unprepared and cannot give
informed consent. Child abuse is characterized by
deception, force or coercion
 Most children are abused by someone they know and trust
 The child becomes trapped between loyalty or affection for
the abuser and the sense that the sexual activities are
terribly wrong.
 Child sexual abusers can make the child extremely fearful
of telling about the abuse
 The long-term emotional and psychological damage
of sexual abuse can be devastating to the child
 A child who is victim of prolonged sexual abuse
usually develops low self-esteem
 Factors that cause low self-esteem: constant
criticism, a repetitive “message” that they are
of little value and just an object to be used
 Sexual abuse survivors are at a higher risk for
mental health and social functioning problems
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Due to Child Abuse
Posttraumatic Stress
• What are the
characteristics of
• 1. The person has experienced or
witnessed a traumatic event(s) that
elicited intense fear, helplessness or
• 2. Persistent re-experiencing of the
traumatic event such as distressing
memories or dreams about the event;
• 3. Persistent avoidance of stimuli
associated with the trauma and numbing of
general responsiveness; and
• 4. Persistent symptoms of increased
arousal such as sleep disturbance,
irritability or difficulties in concentration
(American Psychiatric Association, 1994).
Characteristics In
• inability to get along with others, particularly in close
• paranoia and distrust
• persistent, intense fear and anxiety
• feeling easily irritated or agitated
• having difficulty concentrating
• feeling numb or detached
• experiencing intense survivor guilt
• being preoccupied with the traumatic event
• physical symptoms such as headaches, gastrointestinal
distress, or dizziness
• suicidal thoughts, plans, or gestures
Case Studies
Deblinger et al. (1989)
• 29 out of 155 were sexually abused
• 26% of those sexually abused had
• 7% in physically abused children
• 10% in non-abused group
McLeer et al. (1988)
• Sexual abuse only
• 31 Children & parents surveyed
• 48% were diagnosed with PTSD
McLeer et al. (1998)
Sexual abuse only
Sample of 80 children
36% were diagnosed with PTSD
Often co-morbid with:
major depression, dysthymia, separation
anxiety disorder, & behavioral disruptive
• Any form of child abuse has long term,
broad, consequences.
• Preventing abuse is everyone’s
• Resources for child abuse prevention.
• B.A.C.A. ,,
ChildAbuse/Neglect Hotline at (800) 6789399
• Google it!