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Psychology News

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  • 1. Edition Nº 001Psychology News Is accident or acts of omission the…08/03/2012
  • 2. It shouldnt hurt to be a kid.... Child abuse is physical -- shaking, hitting, beating, burning, or biting a child. •Child abuse is emotional -- constantly blaming or putting down a child; excessive yelling, shaming. •Child abuse is sexual -- incest, any forced sexual activity, exposure to sexual stimulation not appropriate for the childs age. •Child abuse is neglect -- a pattern of failure to provide for the childs physical needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical care; a pattern of failure to provide for the •Children are often childs emotional needs, such as Did You Know... "punished" for behavior Child abuse prevention affection, attention, and they are too young to costs only a fraction of supervision . control. the millions of dollars •Abusive parents do not currently needed to know they have to teach respond after a child has the behavior they want the been abused. child to have. Punishing In some countries unwanted behavior is not receives well over 20,000 enough. reports of child abuse •Parents and caretakers every year. often abuse children in Child abuse occurs in response to their own anger every age group, every and unhappiness. It may race, every religion and have no relationship to what every economic group. No the child is doing at the community is untouched. time. Abused children: Believe that they have no value. Believe that they cannot affect the world around them with good behavior.What are the Consequences feel angry and/orof Child Abuse? depressed.•In an abusive environment, children areoften expected to behave as if they aremuch older than they are. 1
  • 3. Child neglect—a very common type of child abuse—is a pattern of failing to provide for a childs basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, hygiene, or supervision. Child neglect is not always easy to spot. Sometimes, a parent might become physically or mentally unable to care for a child, such as with a serious injury, untreated depression, or anxiety. Other times, alcohol or drug abuse may seriously impair judgment and the ability to keep a child safe. Older children might not show outward signs of neglect, becoming used to presenting a competent face to the outside world, and even taking on the role of the parent. But at the end of the day, neglected children are not getting their physical and emotional needs met.Failure to continue to get help for a child who is not doing well or who is improperly cared formay be interpreted as another form of neglect. This can result in criminal action or action bychild protective services that may result in children being removed from the home and placedin foster care. This effort to seek help often falls on agencies that are fundamentallyincapable of providing help due to lack of money and resources. This can be frustrating andexasperating. These feelings can lead to giving up efforts to get help. This sense of futilitymust be overcome and continued efforts expended either through repeated requests or byseeking out other people who may be able to help (family and friends).Emotional neglect is a condition inwhich children do not get adequateattention from their parents or Warning signs of neglect in childrenguardians. Clothes are ill-fitting, filthy, orWith mild forms of emotional neglect, inappropriate for the weather. Hygiene ischildren can develop rebellious consistently bad (unbathed, matted andbehaviors or become alienated from unwashed hair, noticeable body odor).their parents. In more severe cases of Untreated illnesses and physical injuries.emotional neglect, especially with Is frequently unsupervised or left alone orbabies or very young children, neglect allowed to play in unsafe situations andcan result in very abnormal behaviors. environments. Is frequently late or missingParents who recognize any of these from school.problems can avoid the consequencesof emotional neglect through parentaltraining courses, reading, and effort.Children need to be shown that theyare cared about and that you areaware of their need to be loved asthey grow up. 2
  • 4. Is a non-accidental trauma or physical injury caused by punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning orotherwise harming a child, physical abuse is the most visible form of child maltreatment.Many times, physical abuse results from inappropriate or excessive physical discipline. A parent orcaretaker in anger may be unaware of the magnitude of force with which he or she strikes the child.Other factors that can contribute to child abuse include parents’ immaturity, lack of parentingskills, poor childhood experiences and social isolation, as well as frequent crisis situations, drug oralcohol problems and domestic violence. Physical child abuse effects vary from child to child, depending on six factors: » severity of the physical abuse » frequency of the physical abuse » age of the child when physical abuse began » childs relationship to the abuser » availability of support persons » childs ability to cope The physical signs of child abuse used to be called battered child syndrome. This syndrome referred to many fractures that occurred at different times in children too young to have received them from an accident. The definition of child abuse has since been expanded. Severity of the physical abuse: How hard a child is struck is only one aspect of severity. The implement the child is struck with is also a factor. This does not mean that using an open hand or fist will result in fewer or lesser effects; the harm done to the child is measured both by physical injury and emotional injury. Childs relationship to the abuser: When a child has a very close relationship with his/her abuser, the feelings of betrayal are that much greater; the very person who is supposed to protect is instead hurting that child. 3
  • 5. Is a form of child abuse in a child to produce child pornography.which an adult or older The effects of child sexualadolescent uses a child for abuse cansexual stimulation. Forms of include depression, post-child sexual abuse include traumatic stress disorder,asking or pressuring a child anxiety, propensity toto engage in sexual activities further victimization in(regardless of the adulthood, and physicaloutcome), indecent injury to the child, amongexposure (of the genitals, other problems. Sexualfemale nipples, etc.) to a abuse by a family member ischild with intent to gratify a form of incest, and cantheir own sexual desires or result in more serious andto intimidate or groom the long-term psychologicalchild, physical sexual trauma, especially in thecontact with a child, or using case of parental incest. Under the law, "child sexual abuse" is an umbrella term describing criminal and civil offenses in which an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor or exploits a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification. The American Psychiatric Association states that "children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults", and condemns any such action by an adult: "An adult who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act which never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior • Rejecting. This is an creates a climate of fear active refusal to respond for the child. Terrorizing to a child’s needs (e.g., can include placing the refusing to touch a child, child or the child’s loved denying the needs of a one (such as a sibling, pet child, ridiculing a child). or toy) in a dangerous or • Isolating. The parent or chaotic situation. caregiver consistently Neglecting the child. This prevents the child from abuse may include having normal social educational neglect, where interactions with peers, a parent or caregiver fails family members and adults. or refuses to provide the • Exploiting or corrupting. child with necessary In this kind of abuse, a educational services; child is taught, encouraged mental health neglect, or forced to develop where the parent or inappropriate or illegal caregiver denies or ignoresPsychological abuse, emotional behaviors. a child’s need forabuse or mental abuse, is commonly defined as • Verbally assaulting. This treatment fora pattern of behavior by parents or caregivers involves constantly psychological problems; orthat can seriously interfere with a child’s belittling, shaming, medical neglect, where acognitive, emotional, psychological or social ridiculing or verbally parent or caregiver deniesdevelopment. Emotional abuse of a child (also threatening the child. or ignores a child’s needreferred to as psychological maltreatment) Terrorizing: the parent or for treatment for medicalcan include: caregiver threatens or problems.• Ignoring. Either physically or psychologically, bullies the child andthe parent or caregiver is not present torespond to the child. 4
  • 6. A middle-aged woman walked into my office, took a seat and asked, "Is it possible for me to have been a victim of child abuse if I was never beaten or molested? I responded, "yes" and asked why she asked. She described herself as being frequently depressed and unable to feel good about herself. She said that she felt that she did not know who she was, or what her purpose in life was. She said that her parents were good, strict parents and that, in all honesty, she had no right to feel badly about herself. "After all," she added, "worse things have happened to other people." When I asked her if she felt angry about how she and her siblings were treated, she replied, "No, we werent really allowed to get angry. Anger just makes things worse. Besides, Ive always been much too sensitive about things.“ It seemed to me that as the "good girl" she even felt guilty questioning her parents as she spoke to me. She spoke in a polite, soft tone, qualified nearly everything that she said, and reminded me several times about her parents good intentions.I thought that there had to be a reason for herasking her original question even though sheinsisted that she had a wonderful upbringing. Iasked her what her parents attitude had beenlike towards her. She said that in her homechildren were "seen and not heard." Sherecalled being the "good girl" in the family whoalways followed the rules. When I asked herwhat happened if she didnt follow the rules,she said that she never dared rebel but thatshe often saw her siblings publicly humiliated;they were frequently called "imbecile,""dummy," or "useless." When I gently suggested that it may be beneficial that she try to begin to look moreShe said that it made her feel afraid, even at her past and how it may be keeping herwhen she was not the one in trouble. When I from fulfilling her dreams in the present,asked her what she thought of this tactic, she she said that she was wrong for having comestated that she knew that her parents did the in and that blaming her parents was anbest that they could. She said that her parents ungrateful and disrespectful act. I explainedwere simply trying to teach all the children the that the goal of therapy is to understand"ways of right and wrong" so that they would what happened so that she could be asgrow up to be "disciplined and successful accepting of herself as she was of others.adults." 5
  • 7. Therapy is never about blame.Its about understanding,healing and growing. Thisexample illustrates one way inwhich psychologicalmaltreatment had adverselyimpacted the life of a woman.There are many types ofpsychological maltreatmentand just as many ways that itimpacts the emotional, social,and intellectual developmentof individuals. In this case,although her parents had, What is particularly insidiousperhaps, acted in ways that about this form of abuse isthey felt would be in the best that the child victim and theinterest of their children, adult survivor often have nothis woman had learned how idea "what hit them." Thereto "be good" at the expense are no memories and noof learning who she was, what physical evidence of beingshe wanted, and how to beaten, molested, or abusedexpress her own feelings. because the bruises and scarsMaybe she was depressed are invisible. It is the soulbecause she was too afraid to that is injured.take chances and risk making Part of being a child is toan error; after all, in her naturally trust ones parentsfamily, making an error meant or caretakers and assumetaking the chance of being that if the adult says, "this isdevastated by humiliation and for your own good," it truly is.ridicule. They discredit their own Even as adults, therefore, victims of psychological reactions and feelings so maltreatment often find it that their perceptions difficult to trust their own match what they are told judgment since an integral to think or feel. They part of the abuse was often conclude that had reinforcing that they didnt they been better, smarter, know what was best for them. or more obedient, their Many children and adults parents would have been simply accept the blame and more loving, supportive, or think that they are the proud of them. problem and are crazy, bad, or Unfortunately, depression worthless. and low self esteem are natural consequences of this process. The good news is: this is treatable. Therapy can bring relief and a new sense of purpose. By: August 1996 By 6 Dr. Stacy Becker
  • 8. CROSSWORDS 2 1 1. Abuse 5 4 2. Physical 6 3. Child 4. Violence 5. Sexual 6. Emotional 3 Bibliography •http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_abuse •http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abus e •http://www.emedicinehealth.com/child_abuse/p age2_em.htm •http://www.americanhumane.org/children/stop- child-abuse/fact-sheets/child-physical- abuse.html •http://www.yesican.org/articles/article1-1.html 7

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