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 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
  • Frequent, casual sex with many different partners (sexual promiscuity) or teen pregnancy

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

Mental disorders

  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Oct. 23, 2012