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 has lifelong consequences. For example, child abuse may result in physical, behavioral, emotional and mental issues. Examples include:
- Physical disabilities and health problems
- Learning disabilities
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Substance abuse
- Delinquent or violent behavior
- Abuse of others
- Suicide attempts
- Frequent, casual sex with many different partners (sexual promiscuity) or teen pregnancy
- 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
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- Eating disorders
- Personality disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Set rules for Internet use. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Set-the-Rules-for-Internet-Use.aspx. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- Position statement regarding physical punishment. American Psychological Association. http://apsa.org/About_APsaA/Position_Statements/Physical_Punishment.aspx. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- What to know about child abuse. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/What-to-Know-about-Child-Abuse.aspx. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- Kolko DJ, et al. Evaluation of the sustainability and clinical outcome of alternatives for families: A cognitive-behavioral therapy (AF-CBT) in a child protection center. Child Abuse & Neglect. 2011;35:105.
- Recognizing child abuse and neglect: Signs and symptoms. Child Welfare Information Gateway. http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/signs.cfm. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- Understanding child maltreatment: Fact sheet 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/CM-factsheet-a.pdf. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
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- King DC, et al. Childhood maltreatment and psychiatric disorders among detained youths. Psychiatric Services. 2011;62:1430.
- Schechter DS. The developmental neuroscience of emotional neglect: Its consequences, and the psychosocial interventions that can reverse them. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2012;169:452.
- Thompson R, et al. Predictors of engagement with mental health services among mothers of children at risk of maltreatment. In press. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
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- Strengthening families and communities: 2011 Resource guide. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/guide2011/guide.pdf. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012
- National child abuse statistics. Childhelp. http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics#abuse-conseq. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 22, 2012.
- Billings ML (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 18, 2102.
- Frequently asked questions. Childhelp. http://www.childhelp.org/pages/faq. Accessed Oct. 19, 2012
- Contact us. Prevent Child Abuse America. http://www.preventchildabuse.org/contact_us.shtml. Accessed Oct. 19, 2012
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