What is the impact?


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Child Abuse: What is the impact?
Child abuse and neglect and other experiences in childhood that are unhappy and hurtful can result in negative consequences over the lifespan. Other experiences include violence in the home, the loss of or incarceration of a parent, a depressed or mentally ill parent, etc.

In childhood, the following negative consequences may be observed:

  • serious physical injuries due to accidents such as falling, drowning, fire, or ingesting poisons
  • poor language development
  • low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression
  • behavior problems including difficulty following rules, being respectful, sitting still and keeping on-task, temper tantrums
  • poor peer relationships and inability to trust
  • academic problems and school failure

As children become older they are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as stealing, truancy, smoking, cutting (self-mutilation), sexual risk-taking, and alcohol and substance use

In adulthood, there is greater likelihood of health and social problems, and a shortened life-span. Children, who grow up in homes where their needs are not met, and later become parents themselves, are also more likely to lack the skills to meet the needs of their own children. For more information on the negative consequences of adverse childhood experiences link to the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) study at www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/ace

The impact of child abuse and neglect and other negative childhood experiences over the life span can be reduced. Click here for more information.

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