Understanding the behavioral and emotional consequences of child abuse.
Children who have suffered early abuse or neglect may later present with significant behavior problems including emotional instability, depression, and a tendency to be aggressive or violent with others. Troublesome behaviors may persist long after the abusive or neglectful environment has changed or the child has been in foster care placement. Neurobiological research has shown that early abuse results in an altered physiological response to stressful stimuli, a response that deleteriously affects the child's subsequent socialization. Pediatricians can assist caregivers by helping them recognize the abused or neglected child's altered responses, formulate more effective coping strategies, and mobilize available community resources.
American Academy of Pediatrics, ; Stirling, J; Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect and Section on Adoption and Foster Care, ; American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, ; Amaya-Jackson, L; National Center for Child Traumatic Stress,
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