Child Abuse - a world problem

Child Abuse: Causes and Effects

More often than most of us would like to acknowledge, child abuse occurs. Different societies have different cutoff points for what constitutes child abuse. Child abuse typically takes place as an overzealous form of discipline that leaves the child with emotional, mental, or bodily wounds. However, it is clear that child abuse affects a child's development and exposes them to situations they shouldn't be subjected to. This paper will look at the articles by Peeke, Karen and the Joyful Heart foundation which shed light on the causes and the effects of child abuse on the child's life as well as the society.

Effects of Child Abuse and Neglect by The Joyful Heart Foundation

The article by the joyful heart foundation starts off by showing that even though many children undergo child abuse and neglect, they are still able to grow up to lead healthy and productive lives. However, despite their resilience they are still affected by incidences of child abuse and neglect in their lives. The first effect is psychological and developmental effects on the child due to abuse. As children's development occurs very fast in their early years, they need to have an emotionally stable environment where they feel safe. Being exposed to stressful events constantly causes them to be very reactive and less adaptive when faced with difficult situations. According to the article, the children who are exposed to events that are stressful or child abuse, if ignored and left unaddressed may experience behavioral and emotional problems in their future (Joyful Heart Foundation, 2016). As such, the child grows up not being able to express their emotions and struggling to control what they feel. As grown adults, this affects their behavior and often leads to depression and anxiety. The author also stresses that the impact to the child will mainly depend on their natural reaction to stressful situations. Some will rise above the stress and become resilient going to lead productive lives, but for others, the incidences of child abuse will affect their lives such that they may even become dissociated from the society and also suffer from depressions. In conclusion the article also cites that the children experience physical effects especially if the abuse is physical. This results in pain and bruises which also affects their mental health. Aside from the child undergoing the abuse, children witnessing the abuse as it happens may also suffer from emotional effects. This is especially the case if the abuse takes place at home and the child feels they are not in a position to help the other child (Joyful Heart Foundation, 2016).

The Real Impact of Child Abuse on Life Span by Pam Peeke

The article by Peeke looks at the real impact of child abuse on life span. The author asserts that a past exposure to child abuse may affect a person's longevity and that this is an area that most medical professionals do not look into when discussing a patient's health with them. The patients may also not be aware that a past history of abuse affects their physical, mental and emotional health and that visiting a therapist so as to deal with the trauma will help in improving the health. The author also looks at a research done to evaluate the mortality rate among 6300 people over a period of 20 years. The samples were white distributed between male and female subjects. The findings were that women were mostly affected by child abuse which also affects their mortality rate as it was higher. The men were not as affected as women. The average age for people who had suffered from severe forms of child abuse in formative years was 47 years. Peeke also cites that adults who had had a history of child abuse while growing up had developed addictive behaviors that are also considered soothing behaviors to help deal with the trauma. The most common addictive behavior was stress eating or addictive eating. This is mostly the case with women who had suffered from child abuse or sexual abuse when very young. The author also looked at a study done to determine the number of adults who has suffered from child abuse or some form of neglect in their formative years. The reports ranged from 1 incidence to even 5 incidences. However, the overall finding of the study was that, as the incidences of abuse and neglect increased so did the risk of the people experiencing a wide array of grave physical and mental health conditions (Peeke, 2016).

Leading Causes of Child Abuse by Karen Kleinschmidt

The article by Karen looks at the causes of child abuse. She starts by indicating that children who undergo child abuse may suffer from various effects. These include physical pain due to getting beaten which may leave scars, cause a disability or even result in death. The effects also include metal and emotional scars if the child is not helped to deal with the trauma which later affects them in life as well as how they deal with different emotional situations later in life. She also explains that a history of being abused with no help may cause a parent to also start abusing their own child. It may also be a mental situation where the parent suffers from a mental illness, antisocial behavior or even a mental illness. Other instances include the lack of appropriate child parenting skills. This is often seen where a parent uses physical abuse as a way of punishing the child or even verbal abuse. Other than that, situations where a family undergoes a lot of stress may result in child abuse and neglect. For instance where a family has a child who is mentally challenges, this may result in abuse of the other children or even neglect of the child. Domestic violence also leads to child abuse as they are raised in a stressful environment and may also be caught in the crossfire. They could be physically or emotionally bruised from seeing one of their parents being abused. The author concludes by citing that all these causes result in future mental, physical or emotional implications for the child exposed to the incidences (KLEINSCHMIDT, 2015).

The three articles objectively look at child abuse, the causes and the effects. They all agree that child abuse result in future implications for the child. As such, they experience emotional, mental or even physical challenges later in life. Karen cites that they may the cause the child undergoing abuse to inflict the same abuse they underwent once they grow up and have children of their own. Karen's article supported my thinking in this instance. It is common to find that a child living with a drunk and abusing father often ends up becoming drunk and abusive, especially if they did not undergo any environmental changes in the life they led. For example, if the child grew up in the same town as the father and was always in toxic environment created by the father, they may grow up to adopt their fathers behavior as they are not exposed to any other people who exhibit different behaviors. However, the Joyful heart foundation cites a note not explored by the other articles that even though a lot of children undergo abuse and neglect, some are resilient and grown up to lead healthy and productive lives. As such, the natural resilience or reaction to stressful situations in a child is also a factor to be considered in how child abuse will affect the future of the child.


Joyful Heart Foundation. (2016, August 7). Effects of Child Abuse and Neglect. Retrieved from Joyful Heart Foundation:

KLEINSCHMIDT, K. (2015, September 3). Leading Causes of Child Abuse. Retrieved from Livestrong.Com:

Peeke, P. (2016, September 15). The Real Impact of Child Abuse on Life Span. Retrieved from Health.US News:

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