Relationship Between Child Abuse and Delinquency

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A child is an innocent figure only looking for love and care from those around them. No one can ever imagine that the lives of children are put in danger everyday. Child abuse is commonly known for physical marks such as bruises or broken bones. It is obvious that some marks are not from falling off a bike and those are the signs that appear that something is wrong with the child. According to the Florida Statue, abuse means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. Abuse of a child includes acts or omissions. Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child. [s.39.01(2),F.S.]. However, there are several types of abuse. Emotional abuse and neglect can also mean making a child feel worthless, not paying attention to them, and putting them in dangerous situations. Whether it is physical or not child abuse is never an answer to a situation because the end result will only cause harm.

Some often wonder about child delinquents and the reason behind their actions. Children’s behavior can be the result of genetic, social, and environmental factors. In addition, it can relate to their emotional, cognitive, and physical characteristics. In this particular topic it is a factor as to why children become a delinquent. Some may debate that it is not a result of child abuse that children’s behavior become corrupt but there are behaviors that mirror what the child is going through in their life. I. Prevalence

Once a child has been abused there are several outcomes for them as they grow up. With that outcome creates a strong relationship between child abuse and later delinquency. Being abused at a young age increases the occurrence of a child to become delinquent and results in being arrested. Researchers found that the prevalence of child abuse was a risk factor for delinquency, violent delinquency, and moderate delinquency. It was seen frequently in a more serious form of delinquency in dealing with assaults but not in lesser forms of delinquency such as underage drinking (Cross, 2003). On the other side of this issue some people believe that being abused as a child does not necessarily mean that the child will become a delinquent. Abuse alone does not lead to an act of violence. It would seem that something peculiar about certain kinds of abuse would promote delinquency or that additional factors interact with abuse and together it will contribute to the development of antisocial, often aggressive behavior. Although about 20 percent of abused children go on to become delinquent, retrospective studies indicate that surprisingly high percentages of delinquents were previously abused, neglected, or both. The United States Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that approximately 3.4 children per 1,000 per year are physically abused. These proportions provide some measure with which to compare the prevalence of a history of abuse in delinquents (Cicchetti, 2001). II. Effects on Children

There are several effects on children involved in child abuse. These effects are so strong that a child may never be able to deal and cope with what they have experienced. Effects may range from having trouble in relationships with others to not being able to function in a work setting. For children as young as twelve months old there are immediate effects of child abuse such as injuries resulting from shaking. Physical child abuse can vary from child to child depending on six factors: severity of the physical abuse, frequency of the abuse, age of the child when physical abuse begun, child’s relationship to the abuser, availability of support from people, and child’s ability to cope (Pipe, 2008). How hard a child is struck is only one aspect of...
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