Honours: Psychopathology Assignment 2: Child Abuse
This essay is concerned with the possible individual predisposing factors that are relevant to child abuse. An outline of those individual predisposing factors will be provided and explained according to different theoretical perspectives. An in-depth definition of family violence and child abuse will be discussed, as well as the precipitating factors that contributes to child maltreatment.
Family violence also known as domestic violence can be defined as any abusive, forceful, violent, coercive or threatening act or word inflicted by one member of a family or household onto another (www.thefreedictionary.com). Family violence is a broader definition often used to include child abuse, and other violent acts between family members (www.thefreedictionary.com). Child abuse / child maltreatment is defined by the national research council (1993, p53) in Orton’s book ‘Strategies for counselling with children and their parents’ (1996) as “behaviour towards another person, which (a) is outside the norms of conduct and (b) entails a substantial risk of causing physical or emotional harm (Orton, 1996). The kaleidoscope of child abuse involves physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Physical abuse is suggested to be multiple acts of aggression that includes shacking, beating, burning, kicking, biting, punching, or otherwise physically harming the child (Mash & Wolfe, 2010).
Emotional abuse includes continual acts or omissions by the parent or caregiver that could cause or have caused cognitive, emotional, serious behavioural, or mental disorder (Mash & Wolfe, 2010). According to Orton, children who are physically neglected and abused are emotionally abused to some extent. However, because psychological and emotional abuse leaves no physical marks on the child it often goes undetected. Some examples of emotional abuse / maltreatment include verbal abuse such as demeaning, denigrating the child, ridiculing and...