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The biological embedding of child abuse and neglect: Implications for policy and practice

Show simple item record Jaffee, S. R., & Christian, C. W. 2014-05-06T18:54:48Z 2014-05-06T18:54:48Z 2014
dc.identifier.citation Jaffee, S. R., & Christian, C. W. (2014). The biological embedding of child abuse and neglect: Implications for policy and practice. Social Policy Report, 28(1), 1-36. en_US
dc.description.abstract Each year within the US alone over 770,000 children are victimized by abuse and neglect (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2010), and this figure is likely to underestimate the extent of the problem. Researchers have long recognized that maltreatment has adverse effects on children’s mental health and academic achievement. Studies of adults show that adverse childhood experiences like maltreatment increase risk for chronic diseases of aging, including Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. What the field does not fully understand is why maltreatment has such pervasive effects. Studies on the neuroscience of maltreatment have begun to offer some clues. Victims of maltreatment differ from non-victims with respect to brain structure and function, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-(HPA) axis and autonomic nervous system function, immune function, and epigenetic markers. These studies identify potential mechanisms by which maltreatment increases risk for poor mental and physical health and poor school performance by affecting systems that subserve memory, attention, the response to stress, and inflammation. The findings highlight the importance of broadening the scope of child welfare beyond child protection to include child wellbeing. A focus on child well-being would require integrated services, wherein comprehensive mental and physical health care are routinely offered to victims of maltreatment and case workers, pediatricians, and psychologists would work as teams to determine how best to deliver care to children and families in the child welfare system. In working with the family, such efforts could potentially reduce the risk of re-victimization which commonly jeopardizes long-term gains in child well-being. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Society for Research in Child Development en_US
dc.subject policy en_US
dc.subject research en_US
dc.subject child welfare en_US
dc.subject biological en_US
dc.subject brain en_US
dc.subject neglect en_US
dc.subject abuse en_US
dc.subject toxic stressors en_US
dc.subject child development en_US
dc.title The biological embedding of child abuse and neglect: Implications for policy and practice en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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