Essay Child Abuse and Neglect

946 Words Apr 13th, 2005 4 Pages
Child Abuse and Neglect

Abuse of children has become a major social problem and a main cause of many people's suffering and personal problems. Neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse have an immediate and long-term effects on a child's development. The long-term effects of abuse and neglect of a child can be seen in psychiatric disorders, increased rates of substance abuse, and relationship difficulties. Child abuse and neglect is a huge problem. People that abuse are people who have been abused and neglected themselves.
There are links between neglect and abuse and later psychological, emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal disorders. The basis for this linkage is the impact that abuse and neglect have on brain development.
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Abused and neglected children have poorly integrated cerebral hemispheres. This poor integration of hemispheres and underdevelopment of the orbitofrontal cortex is the basis for such symptoms as difficulty regulating emotion, lack of cause-effect thinking, inability to accurately recognize emotions in others, inability of the child to articulate the child's own emotions, an incoherent sense of self and autobiographical history, and a lack of conscience.
The brains of abused and neglected children are not as well integrated as the brains of non-abused children. This helps explain why abused and neglected children have significant difficulties with emotional regulation, integrated functioning, and social development. Conscience development and the capacity for empathy are largely functions of the orbito-frontal cortex. When development in this area of the brain is hindered, there are important social and emotional difficulties. It is very interesting that the orbito-frontal cortex is sensitive to face recognition and eye contact. Abused and neglected children frequently have disorders of attachment because of their birth-parents lack of sensitive responsive interactions with the child.
Early interpersonal experiences have a profound impact on the brain because the brain circuits responsible for social perception are the same as those that integrate such functions as the creation of meaning, the

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