Child Abuse: An Overview of a National Problem

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Deborah Branch (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
Eleana Blakely

Abstract: Unconscious, a six-month-old Timmy was admitted to a local hospital after experiencing convulsive seizures. Examination revealed subdural hematoma, a condition designating the collection of fluids between the skull and the brain. As a result of this condition, Timmy is profoundly retarded and will remain institutionalized for the remained of his life. In infancy, the subdural hematoma is primarily caused by birth and postnatal injuries (Mealey, 1975). Circumstances strongly indicate that Timmy's condition is the result of physical abuse.Timmy's plight is one shared by many other children in today's society. Tens of thousands of children are battered or killed in the United States every year. This physical pain and suffering is willfully inflicted on children by parents and other adult caretakers through a variety of means-hitting, beating with a belt, cord or other implement, slamming against a wall, burning with a cigarette, scalding with hot water, locking in a closet, tying, torturing, and more.Until recent times, such instances of child abuse were of little concern to the average person. If a neighbor beat his child, that was his business. A parent had the right to discipline his child anyway he chose. Within the last two decades, however, professionals have become more conscious of the sometimes severe injuries and even death that many parents wreak on their children in the name of discipline. With the realization that the physical abuse of children was a prominent social problem, research was generated to discover the nature of child abuse. This thesis attempts to present the results of such research by presenting an overall view of the problem of child abuse in the United States. It presents the human aspects of the problem in discussions of the abusive parent and the abused child. With an understanding of the players in the human tragedy of child abuse, the therapeutic measures discussed can more readily be comprehended.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1980
Child Abuse, Discipline, Social Problems, Parents, Physical Abuse,

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