Tuesday, November 22, 2005

some news articles of child neglect and abuse

Orphaned Babies Show Hormone Disruption Years after Adoption

Orphans have a hard lot in life, particularly in Eastern Europe, where state institutions sometimes provide care that has been reduced to simple feeding and changing with a minimum of physical contact. That neglect--even without any other abuse--can take a profound emotional and physical toll, potentially deeply affecting a child's neurobiology. New research shows that children adopted from such institutions who have spent as many as three years in their new homes still suffer from depressed levels of hormones that have been linked to bonding, caring, communicating and stress regulation, among other things.

Scars That Won't Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse

In 1994 Boston police were shocked to discover a malnourished four-year-old locked away in a filthy Roxbury apartment, where he lived in dreadfully squalid conditions. Worse, the boy's tiny hands were found to have been horrendously burned. It emerged that his drug-abusing mother had held the child's hands under a steaming-hot faucet to punish him for eating her boyfriend's food, despite her instructions not to do so. The ailing youngster had been given no medical care at all. The disturbing story quickly made national headlines. Later placed in foster care, the boy received skin grafts to help his scarred hands regain their function. But even though the victim's physical wounds were treated, recent research findings indicate that any injuries inflicted to his developing mind may never truly heal.

Though an extreme example, the notorious case is unfortunately not all that uncommon. Every year child welfare agencies in the U.S. receive more than three million allegations of childhood abuse and neglect and collect sufficient evidence to substantiate more than a million instances.

You have to pay to read the last article. I'm just linking to it so if I do a paper later on the subject, I know what keywords to use in the scholarly journal databases for the actual studies.

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