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Child Maltreatment And Juvenile Delinquency Essay

3619 words - 15 pages


The Correlation Between Child Maltreatment & Juvenile Delinquency
April 6, 2014

Research suggests that there is a correlation between child maltreatment and juvenile delinquency. The findings indicate that children, who have experienced abuse or neglect during childhood, are at increased risk of committing crimes in adolescence. A substantial number of children enter the juvenile justice system with a history of abuse, with approximately one third of these adolescence are actively associated with a child welfare agency at the time of their initial ...view middle of the document...

Maltreatment Types
Child maltreatment can occur in any household regardless of the economic or social status of the parents. The types of abuse takes several forms and the focus of maltreatment that is relative for the purpose of this paper include: physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect. Abused children are more likely to be fussy, resistant to control and not readily adaptable to new situations. The children have more headaches, stomachaches, experience bed wetting and are generally more anxious and may also show signs of developmental delays. Feldman (2014), reports that three and four year olds and fifteen to seventeen year olds are somewhat more likely to abused by their parents than children of other ages (p. 255).

Physical Abuse
Physical abuse is defined by the Department of Child and Family Services as a physical injury which is inflicted by other than accidental means on a child by another person. Physical abuse includes deliberate acts of cruelty, unjustifiable punishment and violence towards the child such as striking, throwing, biting, cutting and twisting limbs (DCFS, 2009). Corporal punish is a widely used form of discipline in the United States. Results from a nationally representative sample indicate that a little more than one third of parents report hitting their infant (less than 1
year old), 94% report hitting toddlers (3-5), and although rates decline after this age, 70% of parents report using corporal punishment with children aged 9-12 and 30% still report using it with children aged 13-17. Additionally, there is reason to believe that these forms of punishment may be more harmful among an adolescent population than in younger children (Evans, Simmons, & Simmons, 2012, p.1096).
Research suggests that many times those who abuse children were themselves abused as a child. According to the Cycle of Violence Hypothesis, the abuse and neglect that children suffer predispose them as adults to abuse and neglect their own children (Feldman, 2014, p. 256). The hypothesis concludes that abuse victims learn that physical violence and/or neglect are appropriate methods to parent children and aggression is an acceptable response to conflict. Feldman, (2014), also suggests that violence may be perpetuated from one generation to another, as each generation learns to behave abusively, without learning effective problem solving skills (p.256).

Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse means willful cruelty or unjustifiable, inappropriate punishment of a child to the extent that the child suffers physical trauma and intense personal/public humiliation (DCFS, 2009). Research has shown that open verbal abuse or hostility is likely to be interpreted by the child as clear indication or scorn and rejection. While they understand the rationale behind corporal punishment as a consequence for bad behavior, a derogative...

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