The uprising in child abuse cases in America is forcing the country to open its eyes and investigate the underlying issue. Psychologist, social workers, law enforcement and researcher are all working hand and hand to combat the dilemma, yet all face the puzzling question Why does this continue happen? And Where does the issue stem from?. These are two question that once solved could substantially decrease cases of child abuse.
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Erik Erikson in 1963 was one the first to divulge the importance of human development. His approach was generally based off his findings and description of the eight periods of human development. Throughout the detailed stages he described how pivotal and fragile each stage was for childhood development, regarding the exposure the child met. This exposure could be negative in the case of child abuse. Succeeding Erickson’s early research and discoveries, further research defined child abuse in various forms each with detrimental and traumatic effects, on a child’s psychological, physical and emotional state. Despite the advancements in detailed psychological analysis, strides towards an effort to alleviate child abuse have been made, but much aid is still needed to resolve child abuse.
Children who suffer from long terms child abuse or malnourishment have showed negative signs of their childhood development. The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect (Child Abuse Statistics, n.d). Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S annually. An estimated 683,000 children (unique incidents) were victims of abuse and neglect in 2015, the most recent year for which there is national data (National Statistics on Child Abuse, n.d). Throughout this paper, I will address what types of abuse and what influences can cause abuse. I will also be going over how Eric Erikson’s theory play a role in human development and how children who are abused are affected later in life. Child abuse can be used in many different forms and can affect the child’s development negatively.
According to National Children’s Alliance Neglect is the most common form of maltreatment. Of the children who experienced maltreatment or abuse, three-quarters suffered neglect; 17.2% suffered physical abuse; and 8.4% suffered sexual abuse. (Some children are polyvictimized ”they have suffered more than one form of maltreatment) (National Statistics on Child Abuse, n.d). Child Abuse are seen in many types of different forms for example some children suffer from sexual, physical, neglect or verbal abuse. These types of abuse can impact a large effect on a child’s development process. Three things that influence child abuse is culture influence, poverty and social isolation (Santrock, 2016). Some examples of cultural influence are how we punish our children when they don’t meet our expectations.
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