child neglect

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Even if the neglect’s treats to children’s healthy growth and well-being bear great significance, research in this area is poor compared to research on child maltreatment. This essay about child neglect has two parts. Firstly, I will discuss the relevant theoretical and research literature that addresses the topic of neglect. Second, I will describe and evaluate an interview schedule that I designed to capture children’s discourses on child neglect.
Child neglect occurs when the caregiver fails to act responsibly by not providing the right care and attention that is considered to be necessary to meet the developmental needs of a child. Child neglect usually begins when the child is of early age, its negative effect on developmental abilities and limitations building up over time. The most common form of child neglect is failure to supervise the child properly, whereas physical neglect is the second most common form of child neglect. Emotional neglect could lead to the development of behavioral, cognitive or mental disorders and it is considered to be the most difficult type of maltreatment to capture (Hildyard & Wolfe, 2002).
Evidence for the negative impact of neglect on early cognitive and academic development was broght by early American studies. One observational longitudinal study followed the development of 267 children whose mothers presented high risk for parental problems (Egeland & Sroufe, 1981 as cited in Hildyard & Wolfe, 2002). At 2 years of age, physically neglected children were more frustrated and angry in problem-solving tasks than nonmaltreated and other maltreated children. Two years later, these children showed poor impulse control and creativity when confronted with a problem-solving task (Hildyard ...

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...tory of abuse and neglect in early childhood is also associated with running away from home (Kaufman and Widon, 1999 as cited in Hildyard & Wolfe, 2002), high-risk for delinquency (Widon, 2001 as cited in Hildyard & Wolfe, 2002) and risk for personality disorders in early adulthood (Johnson et al., 1999 as cited in Hildyard & Wolfe, 2002).
The child-parent relationship is expected to be protective, supportive and nurturing. A neglectful family fails to provide consistent and appropriate opportunities to guide the child’s development. Neglect is the most chronic form of all other forms of maltreatment and this might be the reason why it is so detrimental to successful adaptation. The next part of this essay will be the description and the discussion of an interview schedule (see appendix A) focused on children’s broad ideas and assumptions about neglect of children.
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