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Child Abuse and Child Maltreatment

What is child abuse and child maltreatment? How does child abuse and child maltreatment impact child development? What is being done? Discuss in some detail providing empirical evidence for the prevalence of child maltreatment and abuse.

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1. What is child abuse and child maltreatment? How does child abuse and child maltreatment impact child development? Discuss in some detail.

Many of the public and professionals use the word "child abuse" to refer to both the abuse and the neglect of children. Developmentalists, however, prefer to use the term "child maltreatment" instead of "child abuse."


This term "child maltreatment" is believed to reduce the emotional impact of the term "abuse" and acknowledges that maltreatment includes several different conditions.

The term child maltreatment implies the multifaceted faces that child abuse presents itself.

Among the different types of maltreatment are physical and sexual abuse; fostering delinquency; lack of supervision; medical, educational, and nutritional neglect; and drug or alcohol abuse (see Barnett & McGee, 1993).

However, both tersm are often used. The term "child abuse" refers to the violence, mistreatment or neglect that a child or adolescent may experience while in the care of someone they either trust or depend on, such as a parent, sibling, other relative, caregiver or guardian. Abuse may take place anywhere and may occur, for example, within the child's home or that of someone known to the child.

Thus, there are many different forms of abuse and a child may be subjected to more than one form:

Physical abuse may consist of just one incident or it may happen repeatedly. It involves deliberately using force against a child in such a way that the child is either injured or is at risk of being injured. Physical abuse includes beating, hitting, shaking, pushing, choking, biting, burning, kicking or assaulting a child with a weapon.1 It also includes holding a child under water, or any other dangerous or harmful use of force or restraint. Female genital mutilation is another form of physical abuse.

Sexual abuse and exploitation involves using a child for sexual purposes. ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides a detailed discussion of child abuse and child maltreatment in terms of types, prevalence and impact on child development. Intervention strategies are also discussed.