Thesis Statement on Child Abuse

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Child abuse is a global issue and refers to any form of neglect, physical or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and so on. Child abuse has long-term well-being and mental fitness effects. Children who are victims of mistreatment have a higher risk of being the perpetrator of such forms of abuse later in life, a concept referred to as the ‘cycle of violence’. Abuse experienced in the initial stages of life may impact children in various ways including increasing the incidence of post-traumatic stress or learning that harming and hurting others is normal. Furthermore, physically abused children fail to learn essential social cues or misinterpret such cues as hostile situations. Abused children who came through any form of stigmatization are also more likely to avoid such negative states by replacing the shame with offense and sadness which increases their engagement in violent behaviors. Also, abused children be overwhelmed by unfavorable emotions like dissatisfaction, anger, and frustration which easily results in violent and criminal actions. Overall, child abuse boosts the risk of engaging in violent or delinquent altitude.

Child abuse increases the descent of dissociative behaviors and adverse childhood experience which increase an individual engagement in violent behaviors. Dissociation manners result in the disruption of normal functions including perception identity, motor control, perception identity, and consciousness, and is regarded as a risk factor in the progress of violent or aggressive behaviors (Altintas and Bilici 103). On the other hand, traumatic experiences increase the growth of dissociative symptoms, for example, parental separation or divorce, low income, family dysfunction, incarceration of family members, and substance abuse. For example, the study by Altintas and Bilici observed that earlyhood trauma from sexual abuse victims and engagement in violent crimes was extremely high among female inmates while a criminal background encompassing aspects such as substance use, frequent convictions, and childhood traumatization events were more common among male inmates (103). The above outcomes may be explained by general strain theory, an individual and socio-psychological theory explaining the association between crime and delinquency. At the center of the general strain theory is the belief that negative relationships with other people and negative experiences result in a strain in an individual which must be managed (Asscher et al. 215). Three sources of strains were identified including failure to achieve positively valued goals, the threat or removal of valid stimuli that the actor possessed, and the presentation of a negatively valued stimulus such as abuse (Asscher et al. 215). Child abuse results in a strain of negative stimuli such as frustration, anger, depression, and resentment which ultimately results in violent behavior especially when no corrective action is taken to alleviate the displeasure in unfavorable emotions (Asscher et al. 215). The general strain theory also indicates that males and females respond differently to child abuse as revealed by the findings of Altintas and Bilici.

Child abuse results in trauma which significantly impairs the psychological and biological aspects with violence being used as a stimulus to deal with internal feelings. The study by Fox et al. revealed that children who were jailed as serious violent and chronic offenders had adverse childhood experiences and were most likely exposed to numerous traumatic events including having a jailed parent, physical and emotional abuse, household mental illness, and substance abuse as well as witnessing falling of household violence (168). These practices significantly affected their biological and psychological development. Similarly, “adolescent girls who report more severe histories of childhood emotional abuse engage in significantly higher frequencies of aggressive manners than those with lower levels of emotional abuse” (Auslander et al. 356). “The link between aggressive actions and childhood experiences was mediated by both PTSD and depression” (Auslander et al. 356)

Exposure to greater levels of trauma affects the biological and psychological aspects of development resulting in poor outcomes. Children who were victims of abuse have a higher chance to show detrimental outcomes compared to children who lived normal lives and have more incidences of psychopathology. Trauma affects the biological and psychological growth of the child by causing neural impairment to some of the key regulatory processes associated with overall well-being. Trauma is indicated in causing chromosome damage to the chromosomes and overall brain structure and as a consequence results in functional changes in the brain (Shalev et al. 578). Stressful events related to adverse childhood experiences heighten the neural state resulting in the release of adrenal steroids, amino acids, growth hormones, and other stress chemicals in an effort to counter the event. Such signals have a beneficial effect when released in the short term. However, when the signal is prolonged the resulting chemical response due to the ongoing stress load associated with child abuse results in an allostatic load which may result in destructive behavioral and physiological responses. As a result of the different psychological and neurological changes that occur in the brain, the kid may become prone to violence in a number of different forms. First, the physiological changes from the load may result in the release of stress through violent means. Also, most children do not accept the expressed symptoms and may find it more difficult in expressing feelings related to anger which may dramatically affect emotional behavior.

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Children who are exposed to adverse childhood experiences are more expected to engage in healthy risky behaviors. Some common risky behaviors that abused kids are more possibly to engage in include substance abuse, delinquency as well as engaging in violent behaviors. The cumulative risk theory explains the increased engagement in violent or other risk problems especially between abused children. The theory said that the number of adverse events a child becomes exposed to determines their engagement in risky behaviors with each multiple exposure resulting in a poorer outcome. Multiple child abuse incidence or adverse experiences including neglect and domestic abuse and correspond to a higher risk in health behaviors. People who came through adverse childhood events in their life are more likely to engage in different risk behaviors. Consistent findings have also been observed among adolescents. For example, Garrido et al. reported a direct association between the number of adverse childhood experience and their engagement in various risky behaviors. For example, each additional adverse event was linked with a 48% increase in engagement in delinquency, 24% growth in violence, and 50% in substance abuse (Garrido et al. 669). Considering that adverse events do not happen in isolation, children are more likely to be affected by multiple adverse effects at the same time affecting their overall engagement in risky behaviors (Garrido et al. 669).

Being in child abuse may be a predictor of criminal activities. There is a general belief that adverse immaturity experiences normally result in negative health events. Engagement in criminal behavior is commonly measured through various approaches including psychopathy, measures of risk as well as criminal history. Several affective and interpersonal characteristics such as shallow affect, hardness as well as antisocial behaviors include criminal versatility. Theobald et al. observed that men who committed intimate partner violence reported low scores compared to every facet of psychopathy compared to men who had violent convictions only despite both parties revealing an incidence of childhood experiences (1690). Similarly, evidence gathered by Hilton et al. reports that individuals who report greater adverse childhood backgrounds may still show lower criminal propensity on average as compared to the average offenders (15). However, the above findings indicated that intimate partner violence may not be accurately predicted since there the data provided was insufficient and there was a need to carry out extra research.

Diverse types of child abuse may result in being in risky behaviors. Child abuse or maltreatment contains assumptions such as engaging in harm. Each type of child abuse or maltreatment has its own specific result and the effects of kid maltreatment differ based on an individual’s race or sex. There are researchers that argue that not all ways of child mistreatment will directly result in engagement in risky behaviors by saying that there is no one specific way that can provide the exact issue of child maltreatment. Although not all styles of child abuse may directly result in increased violent incidence increased engagement in any form of child abuse, especially forms involving any physical or psychological aspect may also increase violent incidences. For example, social learning may be one of the forms that increase violence and abuse increasing chances of an individual learning the behavior either through imitation, observation, and reinforcement and also serving to engage in the behavior after punishments. Since learning normally occurs through direct experience, increased use of aggressive manners among children results in a response that uses the same direct or indirect experience in attaining a specific reward. For example, such rewards may be attained in an approach that requires the use of violence.

Child abuse and maltreatment may also affect normal emotional processing and development. Youngers who have a history of being mistreated are more reasonable to show fewer positive emotions and more negative feelings. In addition, such children may also have difficulty predicting the results of their behaviors due to their disability in emotional processing since their life mostly complied with bad feelings. Abused kids have higher chances of showing antisocial behavior and high levels of inciting to actions which may be a result of inhibiting multi urges and pre-potent behaviors Impulsivity may also be a result of a lack of judgment and foresight as well as increased emphasis on shortsighted quick behaviors. Impulsivity contributes to anti-social behavior by lowering regard for any ways of negative social behavior, heightening response to any form of threat, difficulties in regulating emotions in tough circumstances, and reducing levels of gratification (Thibodeau et al. 1622). Ultimately, high levels of impulsivity promote aggression which when governed by emotional acts increases engagement in violent behaviors.

Child abuse remains widespread across different parts of the world. Similar forms of child abuse may involve emotional or psychological. From the outcomes provided, child abuse or maltreatment may increase engagement in violent behaviors in different ways. First, child abuse raises dissociative behaviors which over time strain an individual to find a way of releasing the strain. One common approach to releasing negative effects such as temper and gloominess is through engagement in violent behaviors. Secondly, child abuse promotes trauma and depression which have both biological and psychological effects on the brain with the most common effect being the accumulation of the allostatic load and its release. Child abuse may engage in other risky behaviors accumulatively. Increased impulsivity and antisocial behavior in young ones are associated with child abuse too. Some studies reported an indirect association between child abuse and violent behavior by revealing studies that reported no links while other studies revealed that unsimilar types of child mistreatment or maltreatment may be associated with increased incidence of violent behavior. More studies should focus on the identification of methods that could cut the effects of child abuse. Also, more studies should emphasize the unfavorable effects of child mistreatment in violent behaviors.

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Thesis Statement on Child Abuse. (2023, November 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 24, 2024, from
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