Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children. There can be no single factor identified as the cause of child abuse. However it appears to be influenced by the parents' histories, psychological resources, and economic status.
Parenting is not instinctive, it must be learned. While this is often done through experience, education courses for individuals prior to their becoming parents, and close evaluation of questionable homes could enhance parents' knowledge and the childrens' well being. A high percentage of abusive parents have histories of physical and emotional abuse inflicted upon them during their childhood. Thus, they were deprived of parents who taught them how to be good parents. Child abuse scenarios that seem tragic to others are ordinary to parents from abusive backgrounds, and often overlooked. The absence of good parents is detrimental to a child's learning how to fulfill parental roles. The children from abusive households think that an abusive environment is normal, correct, and acceptable. They grow up believing that and emulate that lifestyle.
Sometimes abuse does not stem from a lack of knowledge, but rather from a psychological disorder. Many abusive parents have some type of emotional or mental disorder. An dictatorial personality is a common characteristic of abusive parents. Drug and alcohol abuse is also another common trait among abusive parents. Neurosis, mental deficiency, and/or emotional immaturity can also contribute to abuse.
Surprisingly, mothers make up the larger percentage of child abusers, about 48 percent, while fathers only represent around 39 percent of cases. The rest of the cases come from friends or other family members. Most abusers range from 20 to 40 years of age, but parents between 16 and 20 years old inflict the majority of fatalities.
There are four factors that can be used to identify child abusers. They are Rigidity, problems with self-image, lack of social skills, and lack of self-control. Economic status also plays a role in contributing to child abuse. According to a report put out by Child Protective Services all of the families in their system are considered financially unstable, and less than half hold jobs.
There is still no excuse for child abuse , regardless of a person’s history or current condition in life, nothing makes abusing a child right. Child abuse is a cycle and once it has begun it is extremely hard to break.