Child Abuse

This essay has a total of 886 words and 4 pages.

Child Abuse

There have been various studies based on childhood sexual abuse and relationships in
adulthood. There have been studies that had shown that multiple maltreatment and loss
experiences in childhood interfered with the formation of secure attachments that created
adult problems in self and social functioning. Childhood maltreatment showed there was
poor adult self-functioning in the form of higher levels of depression and lower levels of
self-esteem. Self blame in response to childhood sexual abuse and maltreatment in adult
relationships also predicted poorer adult self and social functioning for individuals with
childhood sexual abuse.

A study by Gerard McCarthy and Alan Taylor have shown that abusive childhood experiences
are linked to difficulties in establishing supportive cohabiting relationships during
adulthood. Their study aims to identify specific psychological factors mediating links
between child abuse and adverse adult psychological functioning. Participants who had
experienced child abuse were more likely to experience difficulties in adult love
relationships, but self-esteem and relationship attributions were not found to be linked
to child abuse.

The most common effect of childhood sexual abuse during adulthood for women is rage. A
study by Susan G. Painter and Carol C. Howell studied women's sexuality after childhood
sexual abuse. Researchers in this particular study interviewed women who expressed raged
through their sexuality. Results indicated that rage and maladaptive behaviors are learned
in childhood and carry over to adult relationships. Although anger is common in the abused
female, it is frequently pushed into unconscious at the time of the abuse. When the abused
becomes aware of her anger, it has become rage. Women who were sexually abused as children
grow up repressing anger; as a result they may enter adulthood totally unaware of the rage
that lies within them. Researchers (Draucker, 1996; Maltz, 1991) reported that childhood
sexual abuse may cause negative attitudes about touch and sex that result in troublesome
reactions to adult sex.

Many incest survivors had struggle with their abuse unaided, and that number of those who
are in prisons, mental institutions, or working in prostitution have been influenced by a
history of sexual abuse. Those who have been most affected by such abuse may be unable to
verbalize their pain and anger. Child sexual abuse is a violation that affects every
aspect of a child's life. Trusting relationships may be brought into question for a child
once sexual boundaries have been violated.

The sexually abused child experiences a pervasive anxiety that cannot be relieved by the
usual self-comforting behaviors of children. Such children frequently discover that the
deliberate infliction of bodily injury can provide a temporary relief from overwhelming
emotional pain (Draucker, 1996; Herman, 1992). Self-destructive behavior persists,
becoming a source of great shame if discovered by others. Those who self-mutilate
frequently describe a dissociation and numbness at the time of the injury, followed by a
feeling of calmness. Survivors may employ such behaviors as bingeing and purging, drug
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