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Psychological medicine

Child abuse and neglect – counting the costs

Louise Newman

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Abstract

The long-term effects of child abuse place a large burden on the healthcare system, but the costs are more than financial. The psychological and emotional cost to abused and neglected children is long lasting and life changing.

Article Extract

Child maltreatment is arguably one of the most significant public health problems. It is estimated that between 10 and 30% of children in Australia and high- income countries experience some type of abuse, the majority at the hands of carers or attachment figures. Abuse of children includes sexual, physical and psychological maltreatment, neglect and the fabrication and induction of illness in children. Abusive parents have core difficulties in recognising and responding to children’s emotional dependency and needs for attachment, and some parents are rejecting and hostile.

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