Blending Perspectives and Building Common Ground. Longer Term Effects of Abuse and Neglect


Beyond the immediate physical injuries children may suffer, child abuse and neglect can also have longer lasting impacts across the developmental spectrum.  The effects of chronic neglect are especially significant for later social and emotional functioning.  Individual child characteristics, such as temperament and intelligence, may mediate the effects of neglect and abuse.  Problematic school performance is among the more common problems associated with child abuse and neglect, with neglected children most adversely affected.  Neglect during early childhood has negative consequences for later social relationships, problem solving, and the ability to cope with new or stressful situations.  Some abused or neglected children develop aggressive behavior patterns, while others become withdrawn.  Children experiencing abuse or neglect are at risk for delinquency, violence and other self destructive behaviors as well as at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression disorder, and other diagnostic conditions (National Research Council, 1993).