The effects of child neglect
The effect of neglect can be a far reading one. Depending on the age of the child, and the length of time and type of neglect that the child was exposed to, the effect my be in any of these areas below. Sometimes, one effect may lead to the other.
Health and Physical Effects:
Lack of adequate nutrition may result in malnutrition, which affects children in many ways such as stunted growth and brain growth. Malnutrition may also cause depression, anxiety, cognitive and motor delays.
Social and Behavioral Effects:
Research shows that children exposed to poor family management practices are at a greater risk of developing conduct disorders and of participating in delinquent behavior.
Child Neglect: A Guide for Prevention, Assessment and Intervention, Diane DePanfilis, 2006 http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/neglect.pdf
Older children may display self-abusive behavior (e.g., suicide attempts or cutting themselves). They may have difficulty forming and keeping friendships.
Emotional and Psychological Effect:
Children with inadequate love and emotional care may have a lower self esteem, self-regard, self-confidence, and self-awareness. They may also exhibit anxiety, depression and hostility.
Intellectual and Cognitive Effect:
Children’s cognitive capacity, academic and language development are greatly affected by neglect. In some cases, neglected children had difficulty learning in school and getting along with siblings or classmates, with little or no interactions with peers.
Late in life, children who were neglected for long periods may engage in risky behaviors such as drug and substance abuse, criminal activity, and sexually exploitative relationships. They may potentially pass on the treatment they received to their children and expose their children to harmful events and things.