Abusing or shouting at your child may cause you heavily as a new research has claimed that the damaging consequences of abuse can not only reshape a child’s brain but also last a lifetime.
In the first major study of child abuse and neglect in 20 years, researchers at the National Academy of Sciences said that the damaging effect of child abuse and neglect is so harsh that it completely leaves an impression on child’s mind for lifetime.
The researchers say, if the behaviour is left uncontrolled then this can profoundly influence victims’ physical and mental health, their ability to control emotions and impulses, their achievement in school, and the relationships they form as children and as adults.
The researchers recommended an “immediate, coordinated” national strategy to understand, treat and prevent child abuse and neglect.
According to the reports, each year abuse and neglect costs an estimated $80 billion in the direct costs of hospitalization, law enforcement and child welfare and the indirect costs of special education, juvenile and adult criminal justice, adult homelessness, and lost work productivity.
“Child abuse and neglect is a serious public health problem which requires immediate, urgent attention,” said Anne Petersen, a professor at the Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan who chaired the research committee for the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council of the National Academies. “The consequences can last into adulthood, with significant costs to the individual, to families, and to society.”
Even if the rate of physical and sexual abuse of children has gone down over the past 20 years, but reports of neglect have gone up, according to a panel of experts. And the biggest threats to any child are the parents.
The report, produced at the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that while rates of physical and sexual child abuse have declined in the past 20 years, rates of emotional and psychological abuse, the kind that can produce the most serious long-lasting effects, have increased. Rates of neglect have held fairly steady.
It’s not clear why either trend is happening, the panel at the Institute of Medicine says — although it’s very welcome news to see sexual and other physical abuse on the decline.
“It may be because of increased awareness in the population, that it’s something that has a profound impact on children and should be reported,” says Dr. Angela Diaz, professor of pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and one of the panel members.