Psychological Self-Help

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abusive than fathers (however, they are with the children more). Siblings and
playmates are even more physically (and sexually) abusive than adults are.
Research done in Missouri of all children under 5 who died between 1992 and
1994 has shown that children living with a single parent are not at higher risk
of dying from abuse, but children living with a biological mother and an
unrelated adult are 8 times more likely to die from abuse (Stiffman, 2002).
Living in a household where child neglect or abuse has previously been
reported also increases the risks. It is not a myth that children are in danger
when a parent or a parent-substitute has an anger problem. Here are more
The consequences of child abuse or severe punishment
research showing a large number of connections between child abuse (of all
types) and various physical, mental, emotional, and social difficulties. (See A brief summary of the
findings can be seen at Child
abuse and neglect have been associated with addiction as a teen or adult,
depression, drug use, heart disease, liver disease, and abuse by a partner as
an adult, Sexually Transmitted Disease, smoking, suicide attempts, and
unintended pregnancies.
There is more evidence of links between being abused as a child
(including witnessing domestic violence) and experiencing panic attacks as an
adult (Goodwin, Fergusson and Horwood, 2005). This research was done with
a large sample in New Zealand; the next study was a large sample, long-term
study of 1004 children in Finland. Unhappy-with-life Type A (ambitious,
competitive, impatient, pressed for time) parents of 3 to 12-year-old children
tended 15 years later to have hostile, angry, critical children. Happier Type A
parents and ordinary non-Type A parents did not have as many angry
children (Keltikangas and Heinonen, 2003; (
03.cfm). . Canada’s National Survey of Children and Youth, a long-term study of 4100
children, found in 2005 a simple relationship, namely, parents who hit, yelled at, and
threatened their children have more aggressive children and eight years later more
aggressive pre-teens. Non-punitive parents had 2 to 5-year-olds who hit and yelled less
and 10 to 13-year-olds who had fewer fights and bullied less (Statistics Canada study:
Kids mimic ‘punitive’ parents).
Along the same line, Lansford et al (2002) studied the long-term effects of abuse
on 69 children during the first five years of the children’s lives. There were a total of 500
subjects in the study. The mistreated children missed 1.5 times as many school days and
were less likely to expect to go to college. The abused children also were more
aggressive, more anxious, more depressed, and had more social problems. The wide-
ranging effects of abuse had lasted at least 12 years. The researchers believed that the
effects of abuse were worse on girls than on boys.
Children who have been abused are actually at risk of being harmed again.
Harriet MacMillan at McMaster University found that more than 50% of abused children
who remain in the same home continue to be mistreated, even if Social Workers make
regular home visits to prevent abuse (published in The Lancet, May 5, 2005). So, it isn’t
surprising that Seth Pollak (2005) at the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that
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