Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

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Child abuse is defined as the mistreatment of a child by a parent or guardian ( The different types of child abuse are emotional, neglect, physical, and sexual; abuse each having unique signs for the specific type of abuse. Child abuse can have many effects throughout an individual’s development including the possibility of the repeating abuse to their own children when they have a family.

According to the textbook “Human Development,” emotional abuse or maltreatment is the rejection, terrorization, degradation, ridicule, or failure to give love, emotional support, and affection (p. 207). Emotional abuse can have significant damage to the child’s mental and social development. Some ways parents are emotionally abusive is by constantly telling the child he/she are things like “worthless,” or “no good.” Not showing signs of affection and continuous belittling or humiliation of the child. Even a child being exposed to violence or another individual’s abuse, such as the abuse of a sibling, pet, or parent can have dramatic effects on the child’s development. Children who are emotionally abused may have extreme behavior in their passive or aggressiveness or extremely compliant or extremely demanding. They may also act very adult or infantile (Saisan).

Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, medical care, protection, and supervision,” (Human Development p.207). Parents usually do not neglect their children purposely. It usually is caused by a mental or physical issue with the parent such as a serious injury, depression that is not being treated or anxiety and other times it may be because of an alcohol or drug addiction that makes the parent unable to care for the child. Even though some children are neglected they might instead carry the role of the parent and care for themselves and siblings. “Neglected children are not getting their physical and emotional needs met,” (Saisan). Neglected children may have...
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