Child Abuse Lauren Mumford Matt Lawrence Joseph Rattie Mike Worwood Robert James What constitutes abuse? • • • • • • Physical Sexual Psychological Neglect Mistreatment Coercive Parenting Distribution of Abuse Percent of Cases 70 60 60 50 40 40 30 20 20 10 10 0 Neglect Physical Abuse Sexual Abuse Other ( eg., psychological abuse) Types of Maltreatment (Source: Department of Health and Human Services, 1999.) Perspectives • Social Systems • Who are the Abusers? 1. 2. 3. • 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 Interaction • 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 alleviated. • 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 sensitive. • They will take pleasure in life and will not feel any need to hurt others or themselves. • • 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 children 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 abuse? 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. Cont. 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 cont. 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 Disorder • What are the characteristics of PTSD? DSM-IV • 1. The person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event(s) that elicited intense fear, helplessness or horror; • 2. Persistent re-experiencing of the traumatic event such as distressing memories or dreams about the event; DSM-IV • 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 Children sleeplessness • • inability to get along with others, particularly in close relationships • 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 PTSD • 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 disorders Conclusion • Any form of child abuse has long term, broad, consequences. • Preventing abuse is everyone’s responsibility. • Resources for child abuse prevention. • B.A.C.A. , Kidpower.org, ChildAbuse/Neglect Hotline at (800) 6789399 • Google it!