Child Abuse and Neglect
Carrie C. Capstick
1. Unintentional physical harm inflicted upon a child is considered physical abuse. 2. Sexual “experimentation” between children is never considered sexual abuse. 3. Keeping a child out of school for an extended period without reason is neglect. 4. Keeping a child in close confinement is a form of emotional, not physical abuse. 5. Physical abuse is the most common form of child maltreatment. 6. Because of the parent—child conflict that characterizes adolescence, children between the ages of 12 and 15 are at the greatest risk of child maltreatment. 7. Domestic violence is a risk factor for abuse and neglect. 8. Physically disabled children are at increased risk of abuse. 9. Parents who use drugs or alcohol are at no greater risk of abusing or neglecting their children than non-substance-abusing parents. 10. Abused and neglected children are at greater risk of developing substance abuse problems than are nonmaltreated children. 11. The majority of sexually abused children develop psychiatric disorders. 12. The support of a nonojfending parent mitigates the negative effects of child sexual abuse. 13. “Parenting training” programs are recommended for physically abusive parents. 14. Cognitive-behavioral treatment for child abuse and neglect aims to heal the “relational trauma” that follows child maltreatment. 15. Play sessions may help a child who requires a safe, nonthreatening setting to express his or her feelings associated with being abused.
Many of our ideas about child maltreatment—physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect—have changed over the past four decades since the mental health field began