Child Abuse and the Development of Self

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Child Abuse and the Development of Self
Brooke Jackson (Johnson)
Stacy Smith
Sociology 450

Introduction
Child abuse is a very distressing topic for a lot of people to talk about. For many years it has been a largely unaddressed issue. Child abuse is an area that needs more awareness brought to it despite any discomfort it may bring. It can affect how a child interacts with other people on day to day bases and can affect them for the rest of their lives. As a survivor of child abuse I have spent many years in therapy and I still deal with the after effects of abuse every day. In this paper we will look at Charles Horton Cooley’s looking glass self and how the individual’s sense of self develops through interaction with others and society. We will also be looking George Herbert Mead’s stages of child development and what could happen if a child is maltreated during these stages. Studies on Child Abuse

In a lot of cases child abuse goes unreported. According to Tiffany Sharples in her article “Study: Most Child Abuse Goes Unreported” written in Time Magazine “researchers estimate that 4% to 16% of children are physically abused each year in high-income nations, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. As many as 15% are neglected, and up to 10% of girls and 5% of boys suffer severe sexual abuse; many more are victims of other sexual injury.” Children have their own rights to services that protect them emotionally and physically under laws like the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974; the Child Abuse Prevention, Adoption, and Family Services Act of 1988; but these services are dependent on if people are willing to interfere for children who are at risk.

Child abuse can increase the possibility of long-lasting behavioral and emotional problems. Abused children often face not succeeding in academics, increased criminal activities and even a higher chance of obesity. Abuse happens in many ways from people speaking to...
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