Oct 3, 2010

Child Abuse

Child abuse forms a worldwide medical and social problem. It is
present in various forms with physical and sexual abuse as the
most commonly reported abuse to the medical profession. Unfortunately
emotional abuse has not received the same amount of
attention even though this form of abuse is the most rampant in
childhood occuring either singly or together with all other forms
of abuse. Its occurrence has always been very implicit but the effects
on the children’s physical and mental development is explicitly
sufficient for them to be needing medical attention. Reasons
for the poor recognition of its presence is mainly because of
the lack of a widely and internationally accepted comprehensive
definition which makes it the more difficult for one to agree as to
what actually constitutes emotional abuse. Currently five categories
of adverse parental behaviour, that is rejecting, isolating, terrorising,
ignoring and corrupting which when occurred in a sustained
manner on the vulnerable child and causing damage to the
child’s psychological and emotional functioning, has been accepted
as emotional abuse. This definition is also dependent on the developmental
stage of the child and can only be defined within an
interpersonal context. The five categories of adverse parental behaviour
occurs in normal and pathological families, more so in
situations of families in discord wherein the emotional abuse is a
result of the spillover from problems and conflicts of adults. Children
who were subjected to such abuse have been shown to have
serious social, emotional and learning problems beyond other general
effects of their environment.

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