SERIES III - Part 7

Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect

Introduction

An estimated 872,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect in 2004 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006). While physical injuries may or may not be immediately visible, abuse and neglect can have consequences for children, families, and society that last lifetimes, if not generations.

The impact of child abuse and neglect is often discussed in terms of physical, psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences. In reality, however, it is impossible to separate them completely. Physical consequences, such as damage to a child's growing brain, can have psychological implications, such as cognitive delays or emotional difficulties. Psychological problems often manifest as high-risk behaviors. Depression and anxiety, for example, may make a person more likely to smoke, abuse alcohol or illicit drugs, or overeat. High-risk behaviors, in turn, can lead to long-term physical health problems such as sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, and obesity.

This Classroom Management Series III has been adapted from a report by the Child Welfare Information Gateway which provides an overview of some of the most common physical, psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences of child abuse and neglect, while acknowledging that much crossover among categories exists.

To access the full issue of this month's Classroom Management Series, NASET members should login to view and or download a PDF file version.

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