How does neglect during infancy affect cognitive development in young children?

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Child maltreatment takes on many forms and child neglect is the most common. Studies have found that child neglect can be more detrimental to development than physical abuse (Colvert, E., Rutter, M., Kreppner, J., Beckett, C., Castle, J., Groothues, C. & Sonuga-Barke, 2008). Despite this fact, neglect is the least commonly reported form of maltreatment, as it does not leave bruises and marks like physical abuse (DiPanfilis, D., 2006). Neglect during infancy has been found to affect all aspects of development: physical, cognitive, and psychosocial (Hawley, T., Gunner, M., 2000). This paper will examine the effects neglect has on specific areas of cognitive functioning. According to Jean Piaget we all go through stages of cognitive development that aid us in constructing our knowledge of the world. During infancy we are in Piaget’s sensorimotor stage where we begin our construction of the world by coordinating what we think, touch, smell and taste with how we move (Santrock, J., 2011). When an infant is not given the opportunity to explore their world they are not able to progress through the sensorimotor phase effectively. Various factors may lead to the insufficient progression through the sensorimotor stage but this paper will focus specifically on neglect. Neglect is difficult to define in terms of a set of behaviors that are synonymous with neglect because what is considered neglect varies based on the age and developmental level of the child. For the purpose of this paper neglect will be defined as the denial of proper physical, educational, emotional and moral attention and care (DiPanfilis, D., 2006). In 2008 Child Protective Services received 3.3 million reports of child maltreatment and seventy-one percent of them we... ... middle of paper ... ...uncil on the Developing Child, & National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs. (2011). Building the Brain’s “Air Traffic Control” System: How Early Experiences Shape the Development of Executive Function. Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. Retrieved from 8. Eigsti, I., & Cicchetti, D. (2004). The impact of child maltreatment on expressive syntax at 60 months. Developmental Science, 7(1), 88-102. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2004.00325.x 9. Majer, M., Nater, U. M., Lin, J.-M. S., Capuron, L., & Reeves, W. C. (2010). Association of Childhood Trauma with Cognitive Function in Healthy Adults: A Pilot Study. BMC Neurology. Retrieved from pdfviewer?sid=95e34d47-cde9-4f93-b9ba-82931731842d%40sessionmgr14&vid=1&hid=25

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