Psychological Maltreatment


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Advanced Topics: Child Maltreatment Theory
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Southern Arkansas University
Kimberly Keith, MEd, LPC

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Psychological Maltreatment

  2. 2. <ul><li>Arkansas Code 12-12-503. Definitions. </li></ul><ul><li>Arkansas Child Maltreatment Assessment Protocol </li></ul><ul><li>Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect: Summary of State Laws. Child Welfare Information Gateway. 2005. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services </li></ul>Psychological Maltreatment Legal Definitions
  3. 3. MENTAL INJURY (Priority II) <ul><li>Injury to a juvenile's intellectual, emotional, or psychological development as evidenced by observable and substantial impairment of the juvenile's ability to function within the juvenile's normal range of performance and behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Arkansas Code 12-12-503 Definitions. </li></ul>
  4. 4. May Be Abuse or Failure to Protect <ul><li>… the mental injury resulted from one of the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A direct, non-accidental action of the parent or caretaker (abuse). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The failure of the parent or caretaker to make reasonable efforts to stop an action by another person which resulted in the mental injury (failure to protect). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arkansas Child Maltreatment Assessment Protocol </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Harm Standard <ul><li>This allegation of maltreatment may be founded only after the Worker has: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verified that the child has been mentally injured. A psychiatrist, registered psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, professional employee of a community mental health center, or licensed psychological examiner must confirm that the child has suffered a mental injury; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secured a preponderance of evidence that the mental injury resulted from maltreatment as defined in section I. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Arkansas Child Maltreatment Assessment Protocol </li></ul><ul><li>Most U.S. state laws require evidence of ‘harm’ in their definition of psychological maltreatment. However, this approach is problematic because… </li></ul>
  6. 6. “ Harm associated with psychological maltreatment could take months or even years to develop.” <ul><li>“ Psychological maltreatment is not generally a single incident, but rather a pattern of destructive behavior by the caregiver that attacks a child’s development of a sense of self and social competence. If continued over time it may jeopardize the child’s ability to form healthy, positive interpersonal relationships later in life.” (5) </li></ul><ul><li>  Psychological maltreatment “may have greater impact on younger children or those previously maltreated because their sense of self and identity is generally less developed than for older children or those who have a well-established sense of self.” (5) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Tracey Feild, M.A. & Amy Printz Winterfeld, J.D. Tough Problems, Tough Choices: Guidelines for Needs-Based Service Planning in Child Welfare . 2003. Casey Family Programs and The Annie E.Casey Foundation. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Maria & Connell-Carrick, Kelli. Understanding Child Maltreatment: An ecological and developmental perspective . 2005. New York: Oxford University Press) </li></ul><ul><li>Tracey Feild, M.A. & Amy Printz Winterfeld, J.D. Tough Problems, Tough Choices: Guidelines for Needs-Based Service Planning in Child Welfare . 2003. Casey Family Programs and The Annie E.Casey Foundation. </li></ul><ul><li>Miller-Perrin, Cindy L. & Perrin, Robin. Child Maltreatment: An introduction . 2007. Thousand Oaks: Sage </li></ul>Types of Psychological Maltreatment
  8. 8. Rejecting <ul><li>The adult refuses to acknowledge the child’s worth and legitimacy of the child’s needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Parental Behaviors : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Denying child’s basic needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refusing child needed medical, psychological, or educational services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Routinely ridiculing, punishing, or belittling child </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Isolating <ul><li>The adult cuts the child off from forming friendships, and makes the child believe that he or she is alone in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Parental Behaviors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not allowing child to participate in normal family activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locking child in room, tying, chaining, or other physical restraints to interaction with others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not allowing child contact with peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hiding child from outside world </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Terrorizing <ul><li>The adult verbally assaults the child, creates a climate of fear, bullies and frightens the child, and makes the child believe the world is capricious and hostile </li></ul><ul><li>  Parental Behaviors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Threatening or carrying out bizarre punishments to child (pointing a gun at child’s head and threatening to pull the trigger, killing child’s pet) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Excessive threats to child, playing upon childhood fears </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Binding or gagging child </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Ignoring <ul><li>The adult deprives the child of essential stimulation and responsiveness, stifling emotional growth and intellectual development </li></ul><ul><li>Parental Behaviors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No response to child’s basic needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No attachment or affection for child, not recognizing child’s presence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inattention to providing child with adequate food, shelter, clothing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lace of supervision or stimulation, such that child is at risk of physical harm (e.g. child wandering in traffic, child not developing language because not spoken to or otherwise provided auditory stimulation.) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Corrupting <ul><li>The adult ‘mis-socializes’ the child, stimulates the child to engage in destructive antisocial behavior, reinforces the deviance, and makes the child unfit for normal social experience. (also includes Exploiting) </li></ul><ul><li>Parental Behaviors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using child to perform illegal activities for parent (e.g. delivering stolen goods or drugs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forcing child to engage in prostitution or pose for pornography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Praising, rewarding, or teaching child antisocial or delinquent behavior </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Verbal Assault <ul><li>Constant belittling, name-calling or threats to a child that damage the child’s sense of self-worth (especially if screamed in loud or harsh voice). (also includes Verbal Abuse) </li></ul><ul><li>Parental Behaviors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Screaming attacks at the child </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constantly criticizing, belittling, cursing, humiliating child </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Other forms of psychological abuse: <ul><li>Destroying personal possessions </li></ul><ul><li>Torturing or destroying a pet </li></ul><ul><li>Degrading </li></ul><ul><li>Denying emotional responsiveness </li></ul>
  15. 15. LONGSCAN <ul><li>Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consortium of research studies on the etiology and impact of child maltreatment. It was initiated in 1990 with grants from the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. This research follows children and families to young adulthood, and operates under common by-laws and procedures. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Approaches Emotional (Psychological) Maltreatment from the child perspective </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. 2005 Modified Maltreatment Classification Scheme developed for LONGSCAN <ul><li>Types of Psychological Maltreatment (referred to as Emotional Maltreatment) : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>  Psychological Safety and Security – parental behaviors that threaten the psychological safety and security of a child, such as discipline through intimidation, threat of injury to the child, abandonment of a child, and exposure to extreme marital violence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(verbal assault, terrorizing, corrupting) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  Acceptance and Self-Esteem – parental behaviors that undermine a child’s sense of acceptance and self-esteem, such as ridiculing or ignoring a child, using derogatory names for a child, or rejecting or failing to pay attention to a child </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(rejecting, ignoring, verbal abuse) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  Age-Appropriate Autonomy – parental behaviors that are counter to the formation of appropriate autonomy for a child’s developmental level, such as prohibiting age-appropriate socialization, reversing roles with a child, and giving a child unreasonable responsibilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(isolating) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  Restriction – Restrictive methods of binding, confining, or isolating a child (considered physical abuse in Arkansas law and practice) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(terrorizing) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  Arkansas law includes effects of Injury to a juvenile's intellectual, emotional, or psychological development </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Miller-Perrin, Cindy L. & Perrin, Robin. Child Maltreatment: An introduction . 2007. Thousand Oaks: Sage </li></ul>Effects of Psychological Maltreatment
  18. 18. Interpersonal Maladjustment <ul><li>Insecure attachment to caregiver </li></ul><ul><li>Low social competence and adjustment </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties making and keeping friends </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties and conflicts with peers </li></ul>
  19. 19. Intellectual Deficits <ul><li>Academic problems </li></ul><ul><li>Deficits in problem solving and intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of creativity </li></ul>
  20. 20. Affective-Behavioral Problems <ul><li>Aggression, hostility, anger </li></ul><ul><li>Disruptive and noncompliant behavior; conduct disorder </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of impulse control; hyperactivity and distractibility </li></ul><ul><li>Self-abusive behavior </li></ul><ul><li>PTSD; shame, guilt, anxiety, low self-esteem </li></ul>
  21. 21. Long-Term Effects of Psychological Maltreatment <ul><li>Juvenile delinquency </li></ul><ul><li>Depression </li></ul><ul><li>Aggression </li></ul><ul><li>Suicidal behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Personality disorders </li></ul><ul><li>Eating disorders </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual problems </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety, low self-esteem, negativity </li></ul>