skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 98828 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Maltreatment on the Developing Child (From Social Work Treatment With Abused and Neglected Children, P 100-124, 1985, Chris M Mouzakitis and Raju Varghese, ed. - See NCJ-98826)
Author(s): S Monopolis; R M Sarles
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The direct impact of physical and sexual abuse on child development is examined in this review of the scientific and professional literature.
Abstract: Parental neglect, in the form of deprivation, inadequate care, or malnutrition has been well-documented to have significant consequences for the child's physical developmental (as in failure to thrive) and mental health (e.g., fear, anxiety, guilt, depression, neurosis), and also may contribute to neurologic deficit. Similarly, physical abuse may have significant consequences for the child's psychological and social development. Chronic abuse may lead to primary identification with the aggressor, acting-out and impaired impulse control, and a proneness toward violence. An elaborate study of abused children found three distinct behavior patterns characterized by: destructiveness, limited ego function, legal involvement, poor peer relationships, and a variety of problem behaviors; withdrawal, anxiety, and passivity; and manipulativeness, cognitive precocity, poor peer relationships, and few or mild behavior problems. In addition to neurological sequelae of physical abuse, there may be a compromised ability for learning; in infants and toddlers, attachment to the mother may be seriously affected. Studies of the long-term effects of child sexual abuse have produced equivocal findings, as sexual abuse often coexists with physical abuse, familial alcoholism, and other dysfunctions. A number of studies of short-term effects have found little impact, while others have reported regressive symptoms, anxiety neuroses, and phobias and dysfuctions in psychosexual development. Psychological disturbances and psychosomatic complaints have been found to be associated with rape. Effects of child prostitution are unclear and not well documented. Similarly, effects of child pornography are not clearly defined, although some research has reported such symptoms as sleep disturbance, mood swings, and withdrawal. Overall, research and clinical data suggest that child abuse puts victims at greater risk of impairment in physical and emotional growth and development, and that the experience of violence in childhood often begets violence in adulthood. Despite the multitude of confounding factors, maltreatment cannot be good for children. Included are 191 references.
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child development; Child Pornography; Child Sexual Abuse; Children at risk; Literature reviews; Psychological research; Psychological victimization effects; Violence
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.