Intervention needed to reduce lifelong effects associated with childhood neglect and emotional abuse

Preschool children who have been neglected or emotionally abused exhibit a range of emotional and behavioral difficulties and adverse mother-child interactions that indicate these children require prompt evaluation and interventions, according to a systematic review by Aideen Mary Naughton, M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O., D.C.H., F.R.C.P.C.H., of Public Health Wales, Pontypool, England, and colleagues.

A total of 42 studies of children age 0 to 6 years with confirmed neglect or emotional abuse who had emotional, behavioral, and developmental features recorded or for whom the carer-child interaction was documented were analyzed.

Key features in the child included aggression, withdrawal or passivity, , poor peer interaction, and transition from ambivalent to avoidant insecure attachment pattern and from passive to increasingly aggressive behavior and negative self-representation. Emotional knowledge, cognitive function, and language deteriorate without intervention. Poor sensitivity, hospitality, criticism, or disinterest characterize maternal-child interactions.

"Lifelong consequences include physical and ; impairments in language, social, and communication skills; and severe effects on and hormonal functioning." The study concludes, "early intervention has the potential to change children's lives."


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More information: JAMA Pediatr. Published online June 10, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.192
Citation: Intervention needed to reduce lifelong effects associated with childhood neglect and emotional abuse (2013, June 10) retrieved 20 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-06-intervention-lifelong-effects-childhood-neglect.html
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