Child Neglect & Adult PTSD Stats & Guidelines
Child Neglect and Adult PTSD
- Children in the U.S. were abused or neglected at the rate of 1.23%
- Out of that number, 64.2% experienced neglect
- 1,530 children died of abuse or neglect that year
- Roughly half the victims were of each sex, with only a slightly higher incidence of neglect victims being female
- The child's age when the neglect occurred
- The type of neglect
- The frequency and duration
Child Neglect (known as an "act of omission".) On the other end of the spectrum of Child Abuse is physical abuse, an act of commission.According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistics for 2006, approximately 905,000 U.S. children were found to have been maltreated that year, with 16% of them reported as physically abused (the remainder having suffered sexual abuse or neglect.) In other studies, it's been noted that approximately 14-43% of children have experienced at least one traumatic abusive event prior to adulthood. And according to The American Humane Association (AHA), an estimated 1,460 children died in 2005 of abuse and neglect.
At its core, any type of abuse of children constitutes exploitation of the child's dependence on and attachment to the parent.
What happens to abused children?
How does child abuse turn into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
- The degree of perceived personal threat
- The developmental state of the child: Some professionals surmise that younger children, because they are less likely to intellectually understand and interpret the effects of a traumatic situation, may be less at risk for long-term PTSD
- The relationship of the victim to the perpetrator
- The level of support the victim has in his day-to-day life as well as the response of the caregiver.
- Guilt: A feeling of responsibility for the attack ("I deserve it") is thought to exacerbate the changes of PTSD
- Resilience: the innate ability to cope of the individual
- The child's short-term response to abuse: For instance, an elevated heart rate post-abuse has been documented as increasing the likelihood that the victim will be later suffer from PTSD.
According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, some of the particular symptoms of child PTSD include:
- Frequent memories and/or talk of the traumatic event(s)
- Bad dreams
- Repeated physical or emotional symptoms whenever the child is confronted with the event
- Fear of dying
- Loss of interest in activities
- Regular physical complaints such as headaches or stomachaches
- Extreme emotional reactions
- Trouble sleeping
- Irritability, anger, violence
- Difficulty concentrating
- Constant or often clingy or whiny behavior and regression to a younger age
- Increased vigilance or alertness to their environment