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Chapter 14

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Psychology 2042A/B
James M Olson

Chapter 14 – Child Maltreatment and Non-Accidental Trauma Intro - 1 of 10 kids gets physical abuse every year - Abuse used to be seen as a private matter within families - Child maltreatment o 4 acts: physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse o Acts on everyone around the world - Non-accidental trauma – wide-ranging effects of maltreatment on physical and emotional development - Victimization – abuse of someone with limited ability to protect themselves History and Family Context - In the past, people never thought of child maltreatment as a problem - Rule of thumb – Roman Law of Chastisement - Convention of Rights of the Child – 1989, value rights and needs of kids - 42 countries have policies against child abuse - Healthy families o Earliest and most enduring social relationships o People use child-rearing methods used on them to respond to kids being annoying  Not always bad, but can be o How to be a healthy family  Be knowledgeable of child development  Be able to cope with stress  Communication  Home managing, family managing, financial planning  Sharing duties  Have social and health services o The kid also needs to be in an expectable environment with protective adults - Family stress and disharmony o Kids need to learn how to cope with stress too (in a good way) o Stress can be ongoing and unpredictable o Child maltreatment is one of the worst forms of stress o Trauma does not result in predictable or characteristic fashion o How kids react to stress depends a lot on degree of support and parental assistance - Continuum of care o Positive end – encouraging child development, some form of mild discipline o Middle area – generally unconcerned with what the child does, unpredictable responses o Negative end – threatening child, parent tries to benefit themselves, being cruel Types of Maltreatment - Statute in North America states if you see a kid that looks abused, you need to report it - CAPTA – any act that harms the child by a caretaker or a failure to act in imminent danger - Maltreatment is not an abnormal child behaviour or psychological disorder since the adult is doing it - Physical abuse (known as battered child syndrome in the 1960s) o Ex. Milton’s anger problems caused by a physically abusive mom o Acts of aggression physically harming child o Not usually intentional o Physically abused kids are disruptive and aggressive  Also have impaired emotional and cognitive function - Neglect (MOST COMMON FORM OF MALTREATMENT) o Ex. Child protective service worker Janet looking after neglected kids Matt and Jane who pretty much lived in a dump with shitty parents o Three types of neglect  Physical – refusal in healthcare, kicking kids out of house, not looking after kids  Educational – not enrolling kids, letting kids fail and not caring  Emotional – no affection, no psychological care, spouse fighting in front of kids o Different between cultures o Could be related to poverty o These kids lack persistence and enthusiasm  Depend on teachers for nurture and support  Somatic distress – lack of sleep, peeing in bed, headache  Boys more aggressive, girls more passive - Sexual abuse o Ex. Rosita sexually abused by dad o Includes fondling, intercourse, incest, etc. o Underreported because of secrecy o Physical health problems with intercourse o 1/3 kids show no symptoms or evidence  Other 2/3 heal from 12-18 months of therapy o Symptoms appear like symptoms for other things like stress o Some kids show lots of sexual behaviours after o Unlike physical abuse and neglect, sexual abuse not related to child-rearing, discipline or inattention to needs - Emotional abuse o Ex. Trouble with Evan – emotionally abused by both his parents, messing him up o Acts of omission that damage behaviour, cognition, emotion, and mental health o Emotional abuse exists in ALL FORMS OF MALTREATMENT, so consequences are poorly understood o Lots of parents confine their kids - Exploitation o Child labour or prostitution o Kids usually begin as rape or abuse victims in their own homes o High in Asia and Latin America o POVERTY is the greatest factor Prevalence and Context - Incidents of abuse and neglect in North America o 1 million kids per year (10.1 per 1000 kids)  Canada and UK have 14 per 1000 kids (high due to study procedures and definitions) o Child neglect (4/5 kids or 78.3%), physical abuse (10%), psychological/sexual abuse (7.6%), medical neglect (2.4%), and other  1 in 4 kids suffer more than one of these  Sexual and physical declining because of good economy and laws  Neglect remains same  Only small percentage admit to being dicks, so the estimate is pretty high  Lifetime estimate found by asking adult if they were maltreated (mostly on sexual abuse)  Boys were beat, girls were sexed - Characteristics of victims o Maltreatment occurs at all ages o Each age has a popular maltreatment type  Young children abused or neglected  Older kids sexually abused  Typically older you get, less you’re victimized (inversely proportional) o Maltreatment almost equal for both genders (girls more sexually abused though) o Boys more abused by non-family males, girls more abused by family males o White people most victimized o Asians have lowest rate of victimization - Characteristics of family and perpetrator o Maltreatment more common among poor o Single parent and live-in partner result in way higher risk of all maltreatment types o 50% sexually abused by non-family members o 90% neglected by mothers o 90% sexual abuse by father or father figure o Female parent acting alone is the biggest perpetrator - Cross-cultural comparisons o Physical and sexual abuse is high all around the world Developmental Course and Psychopathology - Maltreatment creates threat to self-discovery, social ability and feeling of safety - Ex. Rosita o Tried to kill herself a bunch of times because of abuse from her family o Looked like it was getting better, but at age 15, she got worse and started cutting herself and shit and feels worse than before o Lacks self-esteem and can’t see a future in herself o Blames herself for losing original family - Resilience and adaptation o Abuse and neglect creates kids with developmental failure and limited adaptation  These kids need to learn to adapt and face their shitty parents  Abused kids adapt through least risk and maximum protection and support for growth, even if the option is shitty  Kids raised without love or positive attention have no other standard of comparison and are likely to act the same way to their own kids - Developmental consequences o Early attachment and emotional regulation  Abuse and neglect can lower attachment, child’s ability to find comfort and their ability to psychologically and emotionally process things  Absence of organized attachment strategy  Emotional regulation – ability to control intense feeling and impulses in an adaptive manner  Maltreated kids show insecure-disorganized attachment  Emotions are internal monitoring and guidance systems  Maltreated kids only experience the shitty emotions, so they can’t really regulate internal emotions o More fearful and alert emotions o When these kids get older, it only gets worse - Neurobiological development o D
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