Consequences of Malnourished and Neglected Children

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Consequences of malnourished and neglected Children The impact of child maltreatment includes a range of complicated social and economic problems, with increased likelihood of mental disorders, health problems, educational failure and unemployment; also, substance addiction, crime and delinquency, homelessness and an intergenerational cycle of abuse and neglect. The critical period of a child’s life is when that child imprints on the mother/father figure and learns through their actions how to develop (Lorenz, 1966). However, because of the persistent neglect of Calum and his younger sister, this could lead to serious impairment of health and development, long term difficulties with social functioning and relationships and educational progress (Sidebotham, 2007). Children who experience rejection or neglect are more likely to develop antisocial traits as they grow up and can be more associated with borderline personality disorders and violent behaviour (Schore, 2003). Therefore, aggressive behaviour with other children would be expected, because the child’s parents have failed to form a stable mother-child relationship in his home environment. Infants, like Calum and his sister, who are malnourished may also experience a condition known as ‘non-organic failure to thrive’. This refers to the child’s weight, height and development falling significantly below age-appropriate ranges, without apparent organic cause. Even with treatment, the long-term consequences can include continued growth problems, retardation and socio-emotional deficits (Wallace, 1996). All these factors will have combined to make Calum that which he has become. These direct and indirect health effects of child maltreatment are likely to substantially impact on Calum’s long-term health and the quality of his life and, indeed his life expectancy. References: Lorenz. K, (1952).

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