Abuse: How It Effects Cognitive Development and Prevention Methods

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Abuse: How it Effects Cognitive Development and Prevention Methods Drake Hough
Liberty University
COUN 502-C16
Dr. Lee A. Harlan
November 6, 2010

Abstract
Research indicates that traumatic childhood experiences, such as abuse, increase the risk for different cognitive development disorders that effect learning, memory, and consciousness. Statistics show that no one age, gender, or ethnic group is excluded. Cognitive development that is affected includes depression, learning disorders, developmental disorders, attachment disorders and PTSD. Patterns of attachment affect the quality of information processing throughout the individual’s life. With this evidence, it is imperative to have programs available that focus on prevention for parents and children. There are outside management courses, substance abuse classes, school based educational programs, required registration of offenders, and background checks. Treatment strategies for children are also important and should include establishing safety, dealing with the trauma, and positive self-assessment therapy, and counseling for functional impairment.

Abuse: How it Effects Cognitive Development and Prevention Methods Introduction
Abuse increases the risk for suppressed cognitive development. Maltreatment comes in many forms: physical, sexual, psychological, neglect, and even abuse from peers. Current studies only focus on abuse from guardians. However, peer abuse exists as and does have a psychological effect on cognitive development (Ambert, 1994). Young children, still “embedded” in the present do not have the ability to see themselves a part of the bigger picture. The se themselves as the center of the universe and everything that happens is directly related to their own sensation. Development consists of learning to master those experiences and to learn to encounter the present as part of one’s personal experience over time. Piaget called this ”decentration”: moving from being one’s reflexes, movements and sensations to having them. The age at which the abuse occurs can impact the learning and development leading to mental disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and attachment issues. Because of the results, help programs and education need to be in place for parents, abusers and children of abuse. For example, van Harmelen, deJong, Glashouwer, Spinhoven, Penninx, and Elzinga (2010) did a study on how childhood abuse affects cognitive disorders. The Implicit Association Test was used to evaluate depression and anxiety, although it has been shown to also impact learning and development and PTSD. Participants were asked questions in order to obtain self-reports in this study of depression and anxiety. It was found that childhood abuse leads to a higher self-depression ad self-anxiety view. From this study it is clear that abuse affects cognitive function. According to Feldman (2011), cognitive development is the way that an individual grows and changes and the change in their intellectual capabilities can influence one’s behavior and learning abilities. Different cognitive development happens in different stages throughout an individual’s life. These stages include: Infancy and toddlerhood (age birth to three years) children learning to sit, crawl, and walk, memory functions begin, visual recognition, and language development are present. During the preschool period (age three to six years) growth and muscular development carry on, neural interconnects grow and develop, memory functions grows, fine and gross motor skills become more refined so preschoolers can catch, throw, run, use silverware, and tie their shoes. During middle childhood (age six to twelve years) growth of body and brain function continues still. Gross motor functions develop to include biking, swimming, and skating. Increased fine motor skills include writing, typing, zipping, and...
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