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A Research Paper on Child Abuse and Its Effects on Children

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Most parents agree that children are the most precious aspects of life. Thus it would also be agreeable that any sort of malicious acts or mistreatment against them are immeasurable and are intrinsically wrong. However, there exists a minority of parents who regularly abuse children and it is because of this fact that some of these children develop irregular personality traits and mental illnesses throughout life. Teaching discipline to your children is an essential part of parenthood however it must be done without potentially harming there health. Child abuse is a huge worldwide issue and can have eternal affects into ones adulthood. Certainly, there are parents that defend an injury resulting from child abuse as unintentional because they did not mean to harm the child. Some people think it is acceptable to physically hit their children as it will teach them the discipline to not commit the mistake again but these means are wrong and cause serious implications physically, mentally and emotionally. For instance, it is not necessary that abuse has to in all cases be physical. Emotional child abuse is any attitude, behavior, or failure to act that interferes with a child’s mental health or social development. Ultimately, emotional child abuse can include things such as not providing emotional support, love or warmth towards the child. As shocking as it may be, emotional abuse can have more lifelong destructive psychiatric effects than both physical and sexual abuse. Child abuse is a huge controversial issue worldwide as it plays a huge role in the brain development in the stages of one’s life and can cause physical, psychological/mental, or behavioral concerns in the long run.

Although physical punishment has become a lot less socially acceptable in Canada over the last few years, many still believe it to be a normal part of parenting. An estimated amount of 71%-75% of Canadian parents have used physical punishment with their children. As we are aware, adults are much stronger than children and this could leave the child brutally injured or perhaps even death and regardless of whether the parent intended to hurt the child or not, it is abuse; determined by the result on the child rather the incentive of the guardians. A study from the American Journal of Psychiatry discovered a link between child abuse and the reduction of gray matter in the brain that is accountable for information processing. They discovered that those who had experienced child abuse had much smaller measurements of gray matter in specific areas of their brain than those with no past of child maltreatment. The part of the brain that had the most stable reduction of gray matter volume are in the region that links to cognitive control which is the process that permits information processing and behavior to fluctuate. Therefore, damages to this function can effect memory, attention, and emotional processing, etc. It will influence how that individual will adjust to social norms, his ability to have good social skills, his ability to remember things, and his overall being in the long run. Memory and attention are very essential elements to one’s life and if these elements are disturbed, it will result in a loss for that individual and will alternate their performance on many things. These individuals may process information very slowly due to this so they will not be at the same level as their peers.

Relationships are an intricate part of our lives, without them, we start leaning towards isolation. The dependency between a parent and a child is one of the first, and many influential roles a child is introduced to, so it’s not a surprise that how we act, how we behave, what we believe is very similar to our parents. So, what should we do if the actions and behaviors that we, as children, internalize that are not healthy? Much of the researchers spectate that children raised within abusive homes find it more challenging to maintain healthy relationships and break away from the cycle of abuse. Darwish, Esquivel, Houtz, and Alfonso (2001) concluded from their research that children who experienced maltreatment had negative impacts in their developing interpersonal skills and that these negative impacts were above any other environmental factors. They tend to have poor relationships with peers and get lower grades in school. This has a huge psychological influence on a child for instance; it can make living day to day difficult leaving one more prone to depression, anxiety and having suicidal thoughts as a study using ACE data found that about 54% of cases of depression and 58% of suicide attempts in women were related to adverse childhood experiences. The fact that a child’s parents, who are the closest people he has, can abuse him/her can leave the child in a distressed and very vulnerable mind state of feeling worthless. That child will have difficulty trusting others around him because if his own parents can hurt him, what will stop someone else from doing so? Ultimately when he has a child of his own, he may treat his children the same as he was brought up because that’s all he was ever exposed to. Children who encounter parental abuse are more likely to develop negative results that carry forth into their adult life with aggressive behavior, lack of social skills, trust issues, no sense of one’s identity, and problems adjusting amongst others.

Psychological disorders have become increasingly common in young adults in the recent years. Several mental disorders are hereditary and do require the use of medications; however, there is a more significant part of the psychiatric disorders that develop due to the stress placed on children at a young age, which then moves as unresolved issues into adulthood. The augmentation in these disorders raises the question of why adolescence is in dire need of therapy and to some extent, medication. There is a massive stigma against many of the psychological issues young adults face, but we fail to recognize the reasons behind these growing problems. A child in an abusive home will battle with internalized questions, and if those don’t resolve at that age, it progresses and turns into psychological disorders as adults. Many rude adults in a child’s life are dealing with their internal conflicts; therefore, they project those issues onto the children under their care, thus creating the vicious cycle of abuse.

The relationship between a child and the parents is essential in how the child will develop and it is through this that children learn values, beliefs and attitudes that will later be displayed in his behavior. It will aid the child to deal with stress, nurture healthy relationships, and have a strong secure personality. A research paper from the Children’s Issues Centre reviewed a study and found that physical punishment is both ineffective and harmful as a method of disciplining children. It shows that the use of physical punishment does the reverse. Instead of instilling discipline, it will cause the child to rebel. How a child behaves is an expression of self-confidence and internal sanity and being a victim of child abuse will have a significant amount of impact on one’s behavior. For instance, some behavioral changes may include being afraid, having suicidal thoughts, acts of self-harm, clinging to strangers, poor self-esteem, aggressive temper, change in academic performance, anxiety, and engaging in violation of law, etc. As you can see, child abuse effects the brain development in the stages of one’s life crucially and can cause behavioral concerns in the lifelong period. Many young children observe and internalize any conduct that is demonstrated by their primary caregiver; which then becomes an issue when a child is unable to follow the rules in school and starts to display behaviours of a bully. This observation is obvious in the quote, “Moreover, an early history of abuse compromises not only children’s attachment representations and emerging sense of self but also their social and emotional well-being and developing competencies, and this negative impact can persist into adulthood”. Adults must be cognizant of their behaviours and the repercussions their actions have on others. As a society, we need to start stepping in and rising against this form of exploitation of the innocence of young children, or we will begin raising children with a growing diagnosis of psychological disorders.

To conclude the research essay, child abuse is an enormous issue and simply cannot be ignored. Child maltreatment can often result in difficulties in the child’s development that can have permanent effects. Though there still exists several parents who frequently abuse children and it is crucial to understand that even if this method of parenting had worked on them from their guardians, it is not okay in today’s day and age to be doing the same. The purpose of actual discipline is to allow the children to develop a sense of their identity and become independent. It’s essential to understand that using physical means to instill discipline in your child may result in the complete opposite of what it is you are trying to do. Between these ages, children are very vulnerable; they need kind gentle nurturing to prosper. We must be more involved and hold humankind accountable instead of turning a blind eye to such atrocities. One of the reasons, these acts are continuing for this long is because the public has become desensitized as we witness it happening too often. Using physical maltreatment has shown to be linked with negative impacts including physical, psychological and behavioral concerns during the progress of one’s life and if no further steps are taken to prevent this from happening, the number of deaths will continue to reach an all-time peak. 

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A Research Paper On Child Abuse And Its Effects On Children. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-research-paper-on-child-abuse-and-its-effects-on-children/
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