Children Essay

2324 Words10 Pages
All children are affected by the violence in their homes. Regardless of whether or not our children have been physically abused, watching their mother being battered is a frightening experience. Children from violent homes can exhibit a variety of behaviors. Some may "act out" and may be viewed as delinquent. Domestic violence is an ongoing experience of physical, psychologic, and/or sexual abuse in the home that is used to establish power and control over another person.1 Although awareness about the rate of domestic violence in our society is increasing, the public health ramifications have only recently been recognized in the medical community. The majority of the medical literature to date has focused on the effect of domestic violence…show more content…
The sample sizes are generally small, usually composed of shelter participants, and the studies generally have a retrospective design. A number of variables are not well controlled, such as gender, socioeconomic status, intelligence, cultural background, and social support. Many of these children also experience abrupt school and home changes and parental separation that can have a significant effect on their development.
Another potential confounding variable is that many of these children undergo direct abuse. How can the effects of witnessing violence be distinguished from the effects of direct abuse? Research in this area has focused on the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional effects of witnessing domestic violence. More research is needed to develop appropriate screening tools and intervention strategies for children who are at risk.7,8
Age Span Differences
The potential negative effects vary across the age span (Table 1).3,5 In infants from homes with partner abuse, the child's needs for attachment may be disrupted. More than 50 percent of these infants cry excessively and have eating and sleeping problems. Infants are also at a significantly increased risk for physical injury.
Preschool-aged children who witness intimate violence may develop a range of problems, including psychosomatic complaints such as headaches and abdominal pain. They also can display regressive behaviors such as
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