Some children overcome the physical and psychological effects of child abuse, particularly those with strong social support who can adapt and cope with bad experiences. For many others, however, child abuse may result in physical, behavioral, emotional or mental issues — even years later. Below are some examples.

Physical issues

  • Death
  • Physical disabilities and health problems
  • Learning disabilities
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Substance abuse

Behavioral issues

  • Delinquent or violent behavior
  • Abuse of others
  • Withdrawal
  • Suicide attempts or self-injury
  • High-risk sexual behaviors or teen pregnancy
  • Problems in school
  • Limited social and relationship skills

Emotional issues

  • Low self-esteem
  • Difficulty establishing or maintaining relationships
  • Challenges with intimacy and trust
  • An unhealthy view of parenthood that may perpetuate the cycle of abuse
  • Inability to cope with stress and frustrations
  • An acceptance that violence is a normal part of relationships

Mental disorders

  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Attachment disorders
Oct. 07, 2015