The Consequences of Child Abuse on the Development of Children

Child abuse will alter a person’s behavior and attitude, leading them to violence, drugs, and or repeating abuse to their future children and relatives. As a child grows up they are supposed to experience love and affection. If instead, they are receiving the opposite, their behavior is going to change drastically. Not all children who experience child abuse will have behavioral problems but as a group, the chances are very likely (Long Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect). There are many problems that can show up during a child’s younger years.

For example difficulties during adolescence, juvenile delinquency, adult criminality, alcohol and drug abuse, and other abusive behaviors. Poor mental health and emotional health are what cause most of the problems listed above. Some physiological problems are PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Panic Disorder, depression, anger, and reactive attachment disorder. Anger is a very powerful problem Children are victims of adult anger. When an angry parent presents themselves aggressively to a child, and the child doesn’t respond how the parent expected them to, a sudden act of violence may occur by the parent Anger is therefore a learned behavior.

A child sees adults act out so they do because they think it is the correct way to handle a situation. “The aggressive response person is generally reported to be preoccupied with self, displays selfish behavior, and does not give adequate attention to the needs of others. That person displays a lack of concern for the impact anger will have on the recipient violent, aggressive response behavior includes verbal and physical attacks on others, labeling others, putting others down, teasing, humiliating of others and sometimes blatant sarcasm.

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Seen as a person with a short fuse, the aggressive response person may possess not only a quick temper but also a nasty disposition and may act impulsively. Any one or combination of these traits is a “red flag” when searching for a motive in cases of child abuse by burning, or any act of physical violence.

Also, some adult survivors report problems with anger. It may be anger that is hard to direct, such as anger with fate or God. Adult survivors may feel angry with themselves for not being able to stop the abuse, angry with the abuser, or angry with parents or caregivers for not protecting them. On the other hand, the passive person is aware of hostile anger but keeps it down if problems persist over time, a blowup or emotional breakdown can be expected. The passive behavior person may avoid the problem, use the “silent treatment,” display apathy, use subtle sarcasm, forget things, and does not give adequate attention to personal needs,” (The Root of Child Abuse: Anger). If a person bottles up all their anger and one day someone hits a wrong nerve, they could have a breakdown and just get mad at the world, causing problems not only mentally but physically, and eventually criminally, Verbal retaliation is a way for a child to express their feelings even if they do go over the top. When you abuse a child, it will encourage your child to lie, resent, fear, and retaliate, instead of loving, trusting, and listening (Child Abuse).

The child will yell and fight with others. And they will feel the need to lie more and more even about pointless things. A child may be perfectly fine one minute having a perfectly normal conversation and they hear something they do not like and start off on a rampage of bottled-up pain all coming out on the other person in the conversation Isolation is a major effect of child abuse. A child will close themselves off and not let anyone into their lives. They are scared to go to new places, do new things, and meet new people (Fears) children who are abused can be very emotionally isolated the abuser can force the child to keep the abuse a secret 1f the abuser is a family member, the child may worry about what will happen to the family if the secret is told. The burden of the secret can be carried into adulthood Carrying a secret, and the abuse itself can make the survivor feel different and apart from others, not like a normal person (Adult Survivors of Child Abuse). It will alienate your child from you and the rest of your family & make him a recluse (Child Abuse) And they will have very few friends because they will find it hard to trust people (Prevention guide).

Children who have been abused are going to have major trust issues They will have the inability to trust anyone they do not already know is trustworthy. They will have a fear of strangers and meeting new people because they do know if they are trustworthy they may even feel fear toward certain adults that resemble their previous abusers (Fears). It is difficult for a child to be able to trust again but it can be done through treatment, the abused child begins to regain a sense of self-confidence and trust The family can also be helped to learn new ways of supporting and communicating with one another parents may also benefit from support, parent training and anger management. Being in a world with nothing but hurt and torment can be hard on a person and there are ways that they may choose to make it easier or completely check out of reality. Two of those ways are alcohol and other drug abuse research consistently reflects an increased likelihood that abused and neglected children will smoke cigarettes, abuse alcohol, or take illicit drugs during their lifetime.

According to a report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as many as two-thirds of people in drug treatment programs reported being abused as children. Unfortunately, people do not realize that alcohol will do one of two things, either get rid of the bad feelings altogether, or, it will intensify them and just make things worse. Using drugs is a way to completely check out of reality, depending on the drugs being used. Nonetheless, when you are high, statistics show that your level of caring about problems is close to nothing you are able to completely escape from the world you have to live in. Alcohol and drugs are ways of coping there are many different things people will do to forget about the pain that they have experienced even if for a short period of time Other ways are overeating, shopping, drinking, drugs, unhealthy relationships, and fear of intimacy. These strategies of coping are unhealthy and do not need to be done, (Effects of Child Abuse) Statistics show that people who have experienced family violence are at greater risk for alcohol and other drug problems than those who do not Another way of escape is to simply run away, but that will only lead to worse things.

Evidence suggests that children who run away from violent homes are at risk of further victimization and substance abuse as well as other problems (Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse). Not to mention if you run away and your parents call the police and you are under the age of eighteen, you will either be arrested and brought back to your home, or you could spend the night in a juvenile jail. Although it is unhealthy, drugs and alcohol are ways of complete escape to not only avoid reality but to avoid responsibilities. It will make everything just disappear, but only for a short period of time and using drugs may take the pain away, but it is only harming your body, so in the long run, or the short run, depending on the drug being used, you are harming yourself just as bad as your abuser. Avoiding reality can not last forever and all it will do is make things worse in the end when you are then forced to deal with reality.

Although there are drugs that people will take to avoid the damage that has been done, there are also drugs that can be prescribed to make you able to gain control of your emotions and gain control of your life. If a child with behavioral problems that are caused by child abuse went to a doctor or psychiatrist he could be prescribed with medicine to gain control of himself anger is a big problem that is caused by child abuse. A severe anger problem in which a child or person will completely switch moods in an instant can be caused by child abuse, If a child is diagnosed with it they can be put on medicine to keep them under control. Medications for Bipolar disorder are anticonvulsant drugs and antipsychotic drugs (Bipolar Disorder). Another problem is major problem that people need to get a handle on that can be caused by child abuse is depression and anxiety (Long Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect), Anti-anxiety drugs like Clonazepam, or antidepressants like Fluoxetine.

By taking medication for depression, you can take control of your life again, and therefore you take control of your own fat. Not being able to control your emotions is something that is very hard to live with. You feel guilty and helpless, and like you have no control over your life (Divine Caroline) and the same goes for anger, but some people do not know how to express anger correctly so they lash out because that is how they had to grow up to be noticed by an adult (The Role Anger Plays in Passive Aggressive Behavior) But if a person decides to be put on medication, they can take control no matter what and learn to deal with things instead of getting so incredibly mad over something small. Unfortunately, the experience does not end when a child grows up and becomes an adult and has their own kids sometimes children who have been abused want a different life for their kids but more than likely they will become abusers themselves.

It is not a genetic gene, it is a learned behavior, Anger is genetic gene, but abuse and not controlling anger is learned. Even though the adult is completely against what their parents did to them, they will still do exactly what they did and feel like they can then identify with their parents (The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children). Males and females will act differently as the cycle of child abuse continues. The male will usually become very close with his mother and try to take care of her like his father should, while a daughter will take care of the other children as the mother should. As a male reaches his teenage years he will become violent and starts being rebellious. He no longer wants to be close to his mother so he may become abusive to her and starts to identify with his father and become just like him. The female will try to make both of her parents happy by taking on responsibilities of theirs. She will rarely express anger even if she feels it.

If a parent starts to get aggressive, she will try to protect the other children as a mother would (The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children). This is not to say that females will not continue the cycle as well it is just that the majority is males the females when grown up, will more than likely become victims again. They may get into a relationship with an abusive man. The males, when grown up, will no longer be the victim, but the abuser (The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children). They will unconsciously be repeating what happened to them (Child Abuse and Neglect: Recognizing and Preventing Child Abuse) Although the majority of people will continue the cycle of child abuse, there are some that are strong-willed enough to want to protect their children from what they went through in their childhood.

While people repeat the cycle of abuse, in their mind they think they are doing the right thing. They think they are disciplining their children and controlling their household like a strong parent should, and there are ways to do that but to an extent. There is a difference between a simple spanking and hitting a child so hard that there are cuts and bruises. The child never knows what is going to make a parent angry they never know what they are allowed to do or how much they can say without setting them off. “The child is constantly walking on eggshells, never sure what behavior will trigger a physical assault,” (Child Abuse and Neglect: Recognizing and Preventing Child Abuse). Abusive parents want control of every situation, And when they do not get it they will you physical assertion to get it. They have no motivation to teach the child through love and kindness.

The angrier the parent gets because of lack of control the more intense the abuse will be (Child Abuse and Neglect: Recognizing and Preventing Child Abuse). “Using fear to control behavior. Parents who are physically abusive may believe that their children need to fear them in order to behave, so they use physical abuse to “keep their child in line.” However, what children are really learning is how to avoid being hit, not how to behave or grow as individuals,” (Child Abuse and Neglect: Recognizing and Preventing Child Abuse). Parents may think that by beating a child they are managing the child’s behavior. They are wrong. If they think what their parents did to them worked they are wrong.

There are other ways to punish a child like time outs, removal of privileges, or verbal reprimands (Guidance for Effective Discipline). They also may think that it will stop bad behaviors. Again they would be wrong. Abusing a child will only make them more rebellious and they will become violent in the future (Child Abuse and Neglect: Recognizing and Preventing Child Abuse). By abusing a child, a parent is only creating a monster like them or a person who is out of touch wiLh the world because they are too scared to trust anyone. Child abuse is not something that is easy to get over and it is very hard to live with. It is not something that I would ever do to my future children because I personally know what it is like.

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The Consequences of Child Abuse on the Development of Children. (2023, Feb 22). Retrieved from

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