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Psychology 4804 Child Abuse Essay

1553 words - 7 pages

Definition of family violence with special reference to child abuse
Family violence is a term that is used to include child abuse, elder abuse and other violent acts between family members. Child abuse is the physicall, sexual or emotional mistreatment of children. A widely used definition of child mal treatment is “ Any recent axct or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serioius physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm. Specific definitions of types of child mal treatment do not appear in the DSM-IV-TR. It is not defined as a form of abnormal behaviour or ...view middle of the document...

Educational neglect involves actions such as allowing chronic truancy, failing to enrol at aschool and failing ot attend to a childs special education needs.
Emotional neglect includes actions such as marked inattention to childs needs for affection, refusal or failure to provide needed psychological care, spousal abuse in the childs presence and permission of drug or alcohol use by the child.
Neglected children may suffer physical health problems, limited growth, and increased complications in other health conditions such as diabetes, allergies and failure to thrive. They may show behaviour patterns that vaclitate between undisciplined activity and extreme passivity due to ways of adapting to an unresponsive caregiver. As toddlers they show little persisitence and enthusiasm and as preschoolers they show poor impulse control and are highly dependent on teachers. Child witnesses of abuse are affected in much the same way as other victims of maltreatment. Younger abused children are fearful and often show regeressive and somatic signs of distress such as sleep problems, bed-wetting, headaches, stomach-aches, diarrhea,ulcers and enuresis. Older boys tend to be more aggressive with peers and dating partners, girls tend to be more passive, withdrawn and low in self-esteem.
Sexual abuse
This includes fondling a childs genitals, intercourse with the child, incest, sodomy, rape, exhibitionism and commercial explotation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials. This is often under reported due to the secrecy that characterizes these cases. The behaviour and development of sexually abused children may be affected significantly especially in relation to the duration or frequency of abuse, the use of force, penetration and a close relationship to the perprator. The physicall health may be compromised by urinary tract problems, sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS and pregnancy. Sexually abused children often exhibit no symptoms and those that do show symptoms recover significantly during the first 12-18 months following the abuse. The possibility of delayed emergence of symptoms is becoming more widely recognised. Kids reports of sexual abuse and reactions and recovery vary greatly depending oon the nature of the assault and the response of their important others especially the mother. Many acute symptoms of sexual abuse resemble common reactions to stress such as fears, increased anger, anxiety, fatigue, depression, passivity, difficulties focusing and sustaining attention and withdrawal from usual activities. Kids may regress temporarily or in later childhood these kids may take the form of acting out behaviours. Soem sexually abused children may exhibit sexualized behaviours. Any of these symptoms of distress may be associated with a sudden decline in school performance, behaviour and peer relations. Sexual abuse has no connection to child rearing, discipline or inattention. It constitutes a breach of trust,...

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