Numerous studies have documented the physical, social, psychological, and developmental problems that present in children who have been abused or neglected by caregivers. The following resources explain the consequences of different types of maltreatment. Keep in mind that children may experience multiple types of maltreatment.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway.
Download (PDF - 485KB)
Chronic Neglect White Paper (PDF - 1,044 KB)
District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency (2015)
Surveys the literature, reviews findings from brain science, covers elements found to be effective in addressing chronic neglect. It also presents findings of a study of in-home cases and recommends actions to improve child welfare agencies' ability to identify and work with families affected by chronic neglect.
The Lasting Impact of Neglect
American Psychological Association
Explores understanding of early childhood neglect found in orphanages in Bucharest, Romania and the implications of those findings on children with disorganized attachment and indiscriminate friendliness. The article examines effects of neglect on cortisol cycles, which have been historically attributed to physical or sexual abuse and how this may help caregivers reinforce positive interactions that promote healthy development.
Tools for Spotting Chronic Child Neglect Fall Short
Discusses how the effects of chronic neglect can impact early brain development, cognitive development, and emotional regulation. The article suggests that child protection agencies rate neglect cases as lower due to ineffective assessments.
Child Sexual Abuse
Murray, Nguyen, & Cohen (2014)
Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 23(2)
Defines child sexual abuse and discusses its prevalence, risk factors, and consequences of this type of abuse. The article also discusses systems that are involved when a child experiences sexual abuse and therapeutic strategies.
Child Sexual Abuse, Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Mental Health Problems Among High School Students: A Moderated Mediated Model
Hébert, Cénat, Blais, Lavoie, & Guerrier (2016)
Explores the links between child sexual abuse and cyberbullying, other bullying, and mental health problems as well as how maternal support can act as a buffer to the risk of developing mental health distress.
The Influence of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Adolescent Outcomes: The Roles of Gender, Poverty, and Revictimization
Oshima, Jonson-Reid, & Seay (2014)
Journal of Child Sex Abuse, 23(4)
Discusses the consequences of child sexual abuse, examines childhood victimization patterns related to sexual abuse for males and females, and examines whether it predicts negative outcomes prior to adulthood.
Mental Health Indicators Fifty Years Later: A Population-Based Study of Men With Histories of Child Sexual Abuse
Easton & Kong (2017)
Examines the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse on mental health in middle and late life for men, including the effects of childhood adversities and masculine norms in relationships between depressive symptoms, somatic symptom severity, and hostility.
Positive and Negative Posttraumatic Change Following Childhood Sexual Abuse Are Associated with Youth's Adjustment
Simon, Smith, Fava, & Feiring (2015)
Child Maltreatment, 20(4)
Examines adolescents' and young adults' perceptions of posttraumatic change in the self, relationships, sexuality, and worldviews attributed to prior child sexual abuse experiences.
Resilience in Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A Systemic Review of the Literature (PDF - 339KB)
Domhardt, Munzer, Fegert, & Goldbeck (2015)
Trauma Violence & Abuse
Summarizes research on resilience in survivors of child sexual abuse and discusses protective factors that are associated with adaptive functioning despite sexual victimization.
These factors include education, interpersonal and emotional competence, social attachment, and support from the family and the wider social environment.
Suicidal Behavior Outcomes of Childhood Sexual Abuse: Longitudinal Study of Adjudicated Girls
Rabinovitch, Kerr, Leve, & Chamberlain (2015)
Suicide Life Threat Behavior, 45(4)
Examines the results of an intervention for 166 girls in juvenile justice with histories of suicide attempts or nonsuicidal self-injury and whether child sexual abuse was linked to that behavior.
Effects of Child Physical Abuse
Healthy Place for Your Mental Health
Discusses the primary, emotional, and social effects of child physical abuse and links to other articles about the topic.
The Evaluation of Suspected Child Physical Abuse
Describes the impact of physical abuse on pediatric and adult health, risk factors for child physical abuse, histories that suggest child abuse, and the types of injuries that are due to physical abuse, such as bruising, skeletal injuries, and head trauma.
Resilience in Physically Abused Children: Protective Factors for Aggression
Holms, Yoon, Voith, Kobulsky, & Steigerwald (2015)
Behavioral Sciences, 5
Focuses on the relationship between physical maltreatment and aggressive behavior in early to middle childhood and the protective factors that promote resilience in physically maltreated children. The study describes the problem of physical aggression among children who have been physically maltreated and the positive effects of protective factors such as children internalizing well-being and prosocial behavior.
Consequences of Child Emotional Abuse, Emotional Neglect and Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence for Eating Disorders: A Systematic Critical Review
Kimber, McTavish, Couturier, Boven, Gill, Dimitropoulos, & MacMillan (2017)
BMC Psychology, 5(33)
Reviews the literature examining the association between child emotional abuse, emotional neglect, and exposure to intimate partner violence and adult eating-disordered behavior and eating disorders.
Emotion Dysregulation as a Mediator Between Childhood Emotional Abuse and Current Depression in a Low-income African-American Sample
Crow, Cross, Powers, & Bradley (2014)
Child Abuse & Neglect, 38(10)
Focuses on the effects of childhood emotional abuse and adult depression and emotion dysregulation. The article discusses the importance of studying emotional abuse in understanding various negative outcomes, including women's unhealthy eating attitudes and violence in young adults.
Emotional Maltreatment and Child Welfare Practice (PDF - 443 KB)
Children's Services Practice Notes, 20(3), 2015
Discusses the difficulty of addressing emotional maltreatment in child welfare because it is typically co-occurring with other forms of maltreatment. This publication provides a legal definition of emotional maltreatment in North Carolina and examines its prevalence, ways to recognize it, and its impact on children.
Linkages between Childhood Emotional Abuse and Marital Satisfaction: The Mediating Role of Empathic Accuracy for Hostile Emotions
Maneta, Cohen, Schulz, & Waldinger (2015)
Child Abuse and Neglect, 44
Describes the pervasive nature of child emotional abuse in the lives of children and the negative influence of emotional abuse on intimate adult relationships.