Influence of Child Abuse in Adulthood Research Paper

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Effects of child abuse in adulthood


Child neglect and abuse are usually a result of the interactions of several environmental, societal, family and individual factors. Child neglect and abuse are not unavoidable- steady, safe, and nurturing environments and relationships are crucial for prevention. Prevention of child neglect and abuse could also prevent other kinds of violence, given that certain kinds of violence are interconnected and have common protective and risk factors, repercussions, as well as tactic of prevention (CDC, 2019). Child neglect and abuse together with other negative childhood encounters could also have significant influence on an individual’s lifetime health and wider wellbeing if left unattended to. For instance, being exposed to violence in early childhood raises the risks of future perpetration and victimization of violence, injury, delayed development of the brain, sexually transmitted diseases, taking part in sex trafficking, reproductive health issues, restricted employment opportunities, lower academic success, and non-communicable illnesses (CDC, 2019). The impacts childhood abuse or trauma directly relate to greater risks of substance abuse, imprisonment in adulthood, and mental health issues.

Overview of the problem

Four different groups of child abuse are described by the American CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention); emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and lastly neglect. The first three groups involve actions that directly bring about harm, threats of harm, likelihood of harm. Neglect can be described as failing to provide for the needs of a child or protecting them from potential or actual harm. At least one in seven kids have encountered child neglect and/or abuse in the previous year. In fact, child neglect and abuse rates are five times greater for kids in households with a low social-economic standing in compared to kids in households with a high socio-economic standing. In America, the total lifelong financial burden connected to child neglect and abuse was about 124 billion dollars back in 2008 (CDC, 2019). This financial burden surpasses the cost of certain high-profile public health issues, like type 2 diabetes and stroke.

Children who experience neglect and abuse might suffer direct physical injuries like bruises, broken bones, or cuts, together with psychological and emotional issues, like anxiety or weakened socio-emotional skills (CDC, 2019). In addition, chronic mistreatment might result to toxic trauma and make the victims to become even more susceptible to issues like conduct disorder, memory difficulties, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Childhood trauma and mental health disorder

Being exposed to traumatic encounters in childhood could have adverse impacts on brain development when the brain is most vulnerable. Childhood hardship is a primary risk factor for the eventual development of behavioral and psychological issues in adulthood. Greater rates of suicidality, PTSD, depression, aggressive behavior, and anxiety disorders have been seen in grownups that faced childhood abuse (Torjesen, 2019).

Social cognition is a phrase in psychology that is connected to how individuals apply and process information concerning other individuals and their social dealings. It concentrates on the part played by cognitive processes in social scenarios. For instance, how we perceive others considerably affects our thinking, feelings, as well as interactions with the surroundings. Research findings reveal that a traumatic social environment during childhood often results in social cognitive issues and greater severity of illness for individuals with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder, or PTSD (Hovens, et al., 2010).

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Childhood abuse, neglect, and trauma leaves victims at higher risks of developing cognitive impairment, which will later on influence social interaction and perception, a central disability aspect in main psychiatric disorders. Social cognitive function issues are a characteristic feature of main psychiatric disorders leading to poor occupational and social functioning, particularly with respect to emotional control and recognition (Torjesen, 2019), social perception, attributional style, and theory of mind (capacity to ascribe mental states to others and oneself).

Traumatic childhood encounters- like physical and emotional neglect and abuse, insecure styles of attachment, and loss of parents or caregivers- are observed in up to 85% of patients suffering from certain psychiatric disorders. Research findings assist us in getting a clearer understanding of the connections between severity of illness for a variety of main psychiatric disorders later in adulthood and a traumatic childhood social environment and ensuing social…

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…the justice system. A study conducted on males of averagely 11 years that were referred to a clinic that offers sexual abuse services in London revealed that 3.1 percent had deliberated been sentenced of a sexual felony, and 8.5 percent has partaken in behavior that is sexually abusive (Stensrud et al., 2018). According to another study, 23.8 percent of the sexual abuse category had more than one offense in comparison to the 5.9 percent of the test group. For every identified ACE, there seems to be a higher risk of violence especially in males. Studies illustrated that there are increased occurrences of traumatic encounters in the male criminal populace compared to the normative (Bodkin et al., 2019). The imprisoned populace is found to have increased ACEs, particularly sexual abuse among the imprisoned

There proof that trauma in childhood is an aggression determinant among the incarcerated populace. According to an Italian study involving 450 prisoners, findings reveal that trauma in childhood signifies a developmental determinant that might intermingle with genetic aspects to predispose convicts to violence (Fox et al., 2015; Stensrud et al., 2018). However, more research is needed to generalize these results to the broader, mixed-sex, non-forensic populace. In addition, a study conducted on the traumatic past as well stressful experiences of 2279 prisoners in Arizona, America discovered increased rates of early exposure to traumatic experiences (Dierkhising et al., 2013; Roos et al., 2016). Other studies reveal that teenagers involved with the criminal justice system often have very high rates of early exposure to traumatic events. Additionally, imprisonment itself carries the risk of lingering abuse and trauma, with the traumatized teenagers more possibly going to reoffend as an adult.


This paper explains the trajectory from childhood trauma to mental health disorders, incarceration, and substance abuse. The long-term effect of child neglect and abuse could be intense and might persist long after the neglect or abuse happens. Even though not every form of neglect and abuse might bring about visible harm, the repercussions for families, kids and the community at large could continue through generations. Impacts could surface in childhood, puberty, or even….....

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Bodkin, C., Pivnick, L., Bondy, S. J., Ziegler, C., Martin, R. E., Jernigan, C., & Kouyoumdjian, F. (2019). History of Childhood Abuse in Populations Incarcerated in Canada: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American journal of public health, 109(3), e1-e11.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019). Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect. Retrieved from on 23 April 2019

Cuomo, C., Sarchiapone, M., Di Giannantonio, M., Mancini, M., & Roy, A. (2008). Aggression, impulsivity, personality traits, and childhood trauma of prisoners with substance abuse and addiction. The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse, 34(3), 339-345.

Dierkhising, C. B., Ko, S. J., Woods-Jaeger, B., Briggs, E. C., Lee, R., & Pynoos, R. S. (2013). Trauma histories among justice-involved youth: Findings from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. European journal of psychotraumatology, 4(1), 20274.

Fox, B. H., Perez, N., Cass, E., Baglivio, M. T., & Epps, N. (2015). Trauma changes everything: Examining the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and serious, violent and chronic juvenile offenders. Child abuse & neglect, 46, 163-173.

Hovens, J. G., Wiersma, J. E., Giltay, E. J., Van Oppen, P., Spinhoven, P., Penninx, B. W., & Zitman, F. G. (2010). Childhood life events and childhood trauma in adult patients with depressive, anxiety and comorbid disorders vs. controls. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 122(1), 66-74.

Rasmussen, I. S., Arefjord, K., Winje, D., & Dovran, A. (2018). Childhood maltreatment trauma: a comparison between patients in treatment for substance use disorders and patients in mental health treatment. European journal of psychotraumatology, 9(1), 1492835.

Roos, L. E., Afifi, T. O., Martin, C. G., Pietrzak, R. H., Tsai, J., & Sareen, J. (2016). Linking typologies of childhood adversity to adult incarceration: Findings from a nationally representative sample. American journal of orthopsychiatry, 86(5), 584.

Stensrud, R. H., Gilbride, D. D., & Bruinekool, R. M. (2018). The Childhood to Prison Pipeline: Early Childhood Trauma as Reported by a Prison Population. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 0034355218774844.
Torjesen, I. (2019). Childhood trauma doubles risk of mental health conditions. BMJ 364:l854

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