Child Maltreatment And Its Effects On Children

1373 WordsMay 13, 20166 Pages
Memory is the blueprint of an individual’s development and growth. Repeated experiences of things taken granted – such as learning to walk and learning to speak and write to express oneself – become encoded to ensure a smooth flow of information that help us adapt to the environment. However, children’s exposure to environmental stressors, depending on the exposure frequency and intensity, may impair the normal development of memory in children. This paper will evaluate the role of child maltreatment (physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and neglect) in the changes of memory function. We will first explore maltreatment’s effect on the physiological changes that occur in the primary brain structures that are involved in the development and functions of memory. Next, we will examine the differences in memory among maltreated and non-maltreated children in various types of memory, including working memory, autobiographical memory, and episodic memory. Finally, we will discuss possible treatments that exist to improve the memory functioning of child survivors of maltreatment. The threatening and stressful nature of maltreatment during childhood alters the physiological makeup in the brain, particularly the neural mechanisms related to memory processing and storage (Cicchetti, Rogosch, Howe, & Toth, 2010). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016) define child maltreatment as an act or series of acts by a primary caregiver that results in harm to a child, and it
Open Document