A Child 's Sense Of Self

1297 Words6 Pages
A child’s sense of self as separate from the world is formulated early in development. Children exposed to early trauma, especially by a primary care giver, develop a distorted sense of the self, others, and the world. When exposed to trauma, children become overwhelmed and are unable to effectively self-regulate thus leading to a disjointed sense of self. They have a tendency to lose hope and expect that life will be dangerous thus challenging their ability to survive (Terr, 1992). Survival becomes the predominant drive for children exposed to trauma and their focus becomes toward responding and adapting to a potentially threatening environment. Feelings of trust and the sense of self become compromised as resources are allocated toward coping with threats. Traumatized children experience guilt and low self-esteem and perceive themselves as unlovable and unworthy of protection or love (Johnson, 1985, 1987). The core-concept of an individual is largely influenced by one’s ability to regulate internal emotional states and one’s behavioral reactions to external stress. Children who experience trauma have difficulty managing their emotional states thus leading to poor perceptions of themselves. A distorted sense of self can potentially lead to loss of autobiographical memories, poor body image, and disturbances in sense of separateness in which the person may appear detached and distant (Carr, 2012). It may also lead to difficulty with impulse control which includes aggression
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