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Long-Term Impact of Physical Child Abuse

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Jarod Cassidy2 years ago

It has long been clear that child abuse does not only result in physical trauma, but also carries significant psychological, behavioral, and social consequences. However, a 20 year study completed by the National Academy of Sciences in 2013 determined that, if left untreated, these consequences carry last a lifetime.

This blog will focus on long term injuries that result from physical abuse.

Common Types of Physical Trauma

Generally, when the public thinks of physical abuse, they think of minor injuries: bruises, cuts, and scrapes. Unfortunately, the physical trauma that results from physical abuse is not limited to such injuries and can even result in life changing injuries.

Among the most common long-term injuries associated with child abuse is shaken baby syndrome. Though not immediately noticeable, shaking injuries can result in intracranial hemorrhaging, spinal injuries, fractured bones, and even death.

Physical abuse is also associated with impaired brain development. This means that the abuse or neglect actually prevents the brain from forming or growing properly, hampering cognitive, language, and academic abilities.

Studies have also found that adults were victims of abuse or neglect as children were at an increased risk of developing allergies, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, high blood pressure, and ulcers.

Psychological Trauma Caused by Child Abuse

Beyond the physical injuries, children who are physically abused are more likely to develop behavioral problems. This includes delinquency and adult criminality.

In fact, a study by the National Institute of Justice determined that abused and neglected children are 11 times more likely to be arrested for criminal behavior as a juvenile, and 2.7 times more likely to be arrested for such behavior as an adult.

Additionally, research has regularly shown that abused children are at an increased risk of addiction during their lifetimes with as many as two-thirds of people in drug treatment programs reporting that they had been abused as children.


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