There are links between neglect and abuse and later psychological, emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal disorders. The basis for this linkage is the impact that abuse and neglect have on brain development. Researchers have found important links between interpersonal experiences and neurobiological development. Children who have been sexually abused are at significant risk of developing anxiety disorders (2.0 times the average), major depressive disorders (3.4 times average), alcohol abuse (2.5 times average), drug abuse (3.8 times average), and anti-social behavior (4.3 times average)(Crouch).
Generally the left hemisphere of the brain is the site of language, motor activity on the right side of the body, and logical thought based on language. The right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for motor activity on the left side of the body, context perceptions, and holistic perception. The orbito-frontal cortex (the part of the brain directly behind the eyes) is responsible for integrating emotional responses generated in the limbic system with higher cognitive functions, such as planning and language, in the cerebral cortex's prefrontal lobes(Culp). The left orbito-frontal cortex is responsible for memory creation while the right orbito-frontal cortex is responsible for memory retrieval. Healthy functioning requires an integrated right and left hemisphere. A substantial number of synaptic connections among brain cells develop during the first year of life. An integrated brain requires connections between the hemispheres by the corpus callosum. Abused and neglected children have smaller corpus callosum than non-abused children. Abused and neglected children have poorly integrated cerebral hemispheres. This poor integration of hemispheres and underdevelopment of the orbitofrontal cortex is the basis for such symptoms as...
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