Childhood Trauma: Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect

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Introduction

The early years of childhood are the years in which the foundation of a great future for an adolescent or juvenile can be made. This is the time where a child is being shaped by the experiences that they encounter on a day to day basis. The experience can either be a foundation to shaping a positive future for the adolescent or the start of a negative life style ahead. Often times people don’t understand that adolescents make meaning out of the things they witness, as well as the things that happen to them personally. Adolescents who encounter advancing situations see the world as a protected, energizing spot to learn and investigate, where grown-ups are accessible, responsive and ready to address their issues. These positive early educational encounters animate a kid’s physical, scholarly, social, and enthusiastic improvement in this manner expanding chances for wellbeing, joy, profitability, and imagination. Numerous adolescents, nonetheless, don’t have these open doors because of abuse. When it comes to adolescent experiencing Child Maltreatment it can cause trauma that can ultimately lead to choices that they make throughout their adolescent years and into adulthood.

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According to Pekarskey, ‘Child maltreatment is behavior toward a child that is outside the norms of conduct and entails substantial risk of causing physical or emotional harm. Four types of maltreatment are generally recognized: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotion abuse (psychological abuse), and neglect’ (Pekarskey 2018). There can be various reason of child maltreatment from the parent or legal guardian of the adolescent. Some parents or legal guardians are those who experienced child maltreatment when they were adolescents, but no one ever corrected the behavior or acknowledged to them as an adolescent that what was happening to them was wrong. Since the behavior wasn’t corrected, this lead them to possibly mirror the things that happened to them, onto their children.

Purpose of Paper

The purpose of this paper is to not only bring more awareness to the problem of maltreatment but to also bring more awareness to the effects that child maltreatment can have on an adolescent life that can lead into their adulthood. Often time child maltreatment is looked over if it isn’t an urgent need to remove the child or adolescent from the environment where they are experiencing the maltreatment. Maltreatment is a serious problem that can cause many other problems for the adolescents. With the appropriate knowledge and preventative actions for the problem, a great number of adolescents who experience maltreatment will have the opportunity to have a prosperous future, rather than partaking in the acts of crime.

Definition of Terms

When discussing what maltreatment is and the different effects that it has on adolescents and their future, there should be clarity of the terms being used in this paper. Each states has their own definitions of the different types of maltreatment. The definitions will be coming from the Child Welfare Information Gateway. According to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), the definition of child abuse and neglect ‘Any recent act or failure to act on the part of the parent or caretaker, which result in the death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which present an imminent risk of serious harm’ (CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-320). The following CAPTA give clarification for the following terms:

  • Physical Abuse: the infliction of physical injury as a result of punching, kicking, biting, burning, shaking or otherwise harming a child. The parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child; rather the injury may have resulted from over-discipline or physical punishment. (CAPTA)
  • Sexual Abuse: The fondling of a child’s genitals, intercourse, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism, and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.(CAPTA)
  • Emotional Abuse: The acts or omissions by the parents or other caregivers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders.
  • Neglect (Child): failure to provide for the child’s basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional. (CAPTA)

Annotated Bibliography

Cuadra, L. E., Jaffe, A. E., Thomas, R., & Dilillo, D. (2014). Child maltreatment and adult criminal behavior: Does criminal thinking explain the association? Child Abuse & Neglect, 38(8), 1399-1408. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.02.005

The four authors contributed the writing of this article which examines the link between child maltreatment. The examination included different types of maltreatment which are sexual abuse, physical abuse, and physical neglect. It examines the positive association between sexual offense as an adult and child sexual abuse in the past. Also, the examination of the endorsing reactive criminal thinking and physical abuse and neglect as a child. The findings of this examination showed that child maltreatment has an association with potential psychological pathway.

English, D. J., Widom, C. S., & Brandford, C. (2002). Childhood Victimization and Delinquency, Adult Criminality, and Violent Criminal Behavior: A Replication and Extension. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e510512006-0011

The article addresses two serious social problems that are widespread which are childhood victimization and violent offending. These two problems are a continuous issue in society today. There are four major goals within this research. The finding in the end conclude a strong relationship between child abuse and neglect and delinquency, adult criminality, and violent criminal behavior.

Overview of Child Maltreatment – Pediatrics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/child-maltreatment/overview-of-child-maltreatment.

This is an overview of child maltreatment. It includes what child maltreatment is, the different types of maltreatment and a various amount of statistics regarding child maltreatment. There is also a list of symptoms and signs that would been seen from a victim of maltreatment which is helpful to society so that they are able to recognize the different problem that are associated with child maltreatment so that they can get help for the victim.

Currie, J., & Tekin, E. (2006). Does Child Abuse Cause Crime? doi:10.3386/w12171.

This article discusses what child maltreatment is and how it is a major social problem. It goes on to focuses on measuring the effects that child maltreatment can have on crime. It also states that crime is the most socially costly potential outcome of child maltreatment. In conclusion of the study the research found that maltreatment can approximately double the probability of committing various types of crime. The study also found that boys are at a much greater risk to commit crime than females. The study also found that with the increased forms of maltreatment also shows an increase of engaging in crimes.

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Childhood Trauma: Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect. (2022, Sep 11). Retrieved October 7, 2022 , from
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