The Affects of Abuse and Neglect Later in Life
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The purpose of this study is to determine if child abuse and neglect affect social status, grade point averages (GPA), or psychological imbalances of individuals later in life. This study is important to address to the public of the long-term affects of abuse and neglect in relation to such topics. The subjects surveyed are college-aged students ranging from ages 18 to 25. This survey is based on abuse or neglect from the subject’s parents or guardians at any point from birth to age 16 or 18. The cut off age group is dependant upon how old the subject was once they moved out of the household.
This study defines abuse as any form of intense ongoing verbal battery, unnecessary physical harm, or illegal sexual encounters directed to the subject via the parent or guardian. “The official federal definition of child abuse, state in the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974, states, ‘…the physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, negligent treatment, or maltreatment of a child under the age of eighteen by a person who is responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances which would indicate that the child’s health or welfare is harmed or threatened thereby’” (Gelles 1985).
This study defines neglect as any form of lack of physical, cognitive, or affective care and support for the subject via parent or guardian. Physical care and support is based on the behavioral domain of individuals learning how to physically achieve a given task. Cognitive care and support is based off the cognitive domain of individuals learning how to mentally achieve a given task. Affective care and support is based off the affective domain of individuals learning how to emotionally achieve a given task. According to the Department of Health (1999) stated by Truman (2004), neglect refers to the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Examples of negligence include: malnourishment, failure to thrive, failure to protect, failure to provide shelter, and failure to provide adequate access to medical needs (Gelles 1980) and (Truman 2004).
This study defines domestic violence as any form of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect that may or may not affect the victim subjected to such violence later in life. According to Gelles (1985), violence has been associated with the term aggression frequently referred to as intension to hurt another person. The hurt may not be only physical but may be emotional injury or material deprivation. Violence is defined as an ‘act carried out with the intention, or perceived intention of physically hurting another person.’ In previous studies, such as Gelles (1985), this form of violence included disciplinary spankings, shoving, injury and death as well as other forms of harmful behavior. However, for this study violence will be limited to its relation with domestic abuse and neglect as previously defined.
For generations abuse and neglect has affected the homes of many individuals. In the 1950’s, over disciplinary measures were a matter handled behind closed doors. There were very limited means for socially defining the difference of acceptable discipline and abuse. “Social scientists and public alike became increasingly sensitive to violence due to a war in Southeast Asia, assassinations, civil disturbances, and increasing homicide rates in the 1960’s” (Gelles 1980). In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Kempe and Kempe’s “battered baby syndrome” and the Child Protection Act brought more awareness to the United State citizens of the actions needed to take place against abuse and neglect (Landsberg and Wattam 2001). Domestic violence and neglect was brought forth as a sociological issue at this time. However, the...