Long-Term Effects of Abuse on Children
Significant research and pages of popular media have been devoted to the long-term effects of abuse and neglect on children. There are so many possible effects that it is difficult to predict an outcome. Some individuals even claim to gain a sense of strength from the early maltreatment. Much of the current research on resiliency indicates that positive forces in a child's life may be able to mitigate some or most of the harm of abuse and neglect, although nothing will completely obliterate the abuse or neglect harm from a child victim's life or memory (Wolin & Wolin, 1993). It is clear that the maltreatment does have a diminishing effect on a child's abilities, although which abilities and to what degree seem to vary on a case-by-case basis.
Research has documented neurological, cognitive, behavioral, psychological, emotional, and intellectual effects. Educationally, effects of child abuse and neglect have been linked to academic outcomes and lower test scores, indicating that maltreatment may diminish a child's ability to fully participate and advance (Tower, 1992).
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