The Psychological Factors Involved in Child Abuse Essay

3416 Words14 Pages
Child abuse is a term impacted by copious multidimensional and interactive factors that relate to its origins and effects upon a child's developing capacities and which may act as a catalyst to broader, longer-term implications for adulthood. Such maltreatment may be of a sexual, physical, emotional or neglectful nature, each form holding a proportion of shared and abuse-specific psychological considerations (Mash & Wolfe, 2005). Certainly in terms of the effects / impairments of abuse, developmental factors have been identified across all classifications of child abuse, leading to a comparably greater risk of emotional / mental health problems in adult life within the general population…show more content…
Research conducted in the United States of America clearly identifies an interaction between victim age and abuse characteristics (USDHHS, 2003). There exists a negative correlation between the onset and prevalence of physical neglect and victim age, for instance, indicative of a young child's dependency upon the caregiver for supervision and nurture (Mash & Wolfe, 2005). The incidence of physical and emotional abuse is also most prominent during developmental periods of independence, specifically the early, pre-school and adolescent transitional stages of development (ibid). Sexual abuse has prevailed most consistently, however, from an onset of age 3 throughout childhood, highlighting the vulnerability of children across the age-spectrum (ibid). Nevertheless, victim gender is emphasised as an influential variable within the incidence and nature of sexual abuse; for females have accounted for up to 80% of reported victims and are more likely to be abused by male family members in contrast to male victims, where the perpetrator of abuse is more likely to be a non-family male offender (USDHHS, 2003; Berliner & Elliott, 2002). Physical attractiveness, social isolation and early sexual maturation are further female-specific victim-characteristics associated with increased vulnerability to sexual abuse (Finkelhor & Baron, 1986; Ferguson &

More about The Psychological Factors Involved in Child Abuse Essay

Get Access