Effects of ParentalAbuse on Children Mental, physical, and sexual abuse from parentshappens to “one in four children” (Child abuse and Neglect: Consequences).That’s thousands of children being abused daily, not to mention the ones whohave already become adults. The abuse that children endure can have manydebilitating effects on the remainder of their life. The type of abuse, alongwith the child’s gender, contributes to the effects that can develop, whichinclude: an increased chance of suffering from diseases; increased chance ofdrug use, risky sexual behavior, mental and physical health problems; and finally,an increased risk of criminal behavior or becoming homeless. Children who are subjected to violence fromparents can develop many different physical and mental health disorders. Thosewho have experienced various forms of abuse are more likely to have majordepressive disorder and psychiatric disorders. Evidence proves that child abusecan be associated with attempted suicide in teens.
In fact, even the exposureto abuse during childhood increases a person’s chance of attempting suicide. Anothercommon health problem among adult survivors is obesity and eating disorders.”Both child sexual abuse and physical abuse were associated with a doubling ofthe odds of obesity in middle-aged women” (Effects of Child Abuse and Neglectfor Adult Survivors). These examples are only a portion of the disorders thatcan stem from experiencing or witnessing abuse as a child.
Other problems that can arise for someonewho experienced mistreatment from a parent is an increased chance for alcoholand substance abuse, as well as risky sexual behavior, and debilitatingphysical health problems. While both men and women’s chances of substance abuseincreases following a history of mistreatment, women are affected morestrongly. The use of alcohol and substance abuse may be due to victims feelingthey need to self-medicate. Another effect that arises is risky sexualbehavior.
This can lead to unplanned pregnancy and a wide range of sexuallytransmitted diseases. There is also an increased likelihood of sexual abusevictims getting involved in prostitution. One source “determined that factorsthat may increase the likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behaviors include:the inability to be assertive and prevent unwanted sexual advances, feelingunworthy, and having competing needs for affection and acceptance” (Effects ofChild Abuse and Neglect for Adult Survivors). One aspect of this is thetendency for victims, especially female, to revictimize themselves. Thisresults in abusive relationships and the tendency to never escape them. Anotherdevastating effect that stems from early abuse is physical health problems.Head trauma, for example, can cause death; but also, visual, motor, andcognitive impairment.
These are things that could potentially affect someonefor the entirety of their life. Another effect of childhood mistreatment is anincreased chance for criminal behavior, violence, and homelessness. “Adultswith a history of abuse and neglect had a higher likelihood of arrests, adultcriminality, and violent criminal behavior” (Effects of Child Abuse and Neglectfor Adult Survivors). This also bleeds into spousal abuse; something that mayseem normal or is a learned behavior from a negative environment. Homelessnessis also related to having an adverse home environment.
This is contributed tothe fact that if a child is experiencing abuse or neglect, they will havepoorer academic achievement, resulting in difficulty finding a job.