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The images of babies in most parenting magazines show a smiling, cooing, cherubic face; they don’t show the child crying with a runny nose, messy diaper, or other distasteful daily occurrences of child rearing.
Stress can arise from many sources, not the least of which is the task of parenting itself.
It is a permanent status that at times can seem overwhelming, particularly for persons with inadequate support networks.
Stress is increased when one is a single parent, has lower income or is unemployed, is ill, or experiences conflict with a romantic partner.
Furthermore, environmental stressors such as the family ideal, work, finances, and even health issues can cause a large amount of stress.
One is the nonaccidental injury to a child that requires medical attention. The second part of the definition is neglect, acts of omission where parents and other adults fail to meet the basic needs of the child. Department of Health and Human Services estimated that, in 2007, there were 794,000 victims of child abuse and neglect, approximately 1,500 of whom died as a result of the abuse.
Nearly all experts concur that neglect is far more likely than other forms of abuse. Sixty-two percent of the total victims experienced neglect, 18 percent were physically abused, sexual abuse harmed 10 percent, 7 percent were psychologically mistreated, and medical neglect accounted for 2 percent.In very early studies of child abuse, the assumptions were that abusers must be mentally ill.While that is an easy supposition, the evidence suggests that only around 10 percent of abusers have psychoses or severe personality disorders.Abuse is also used as a method to gain control over a child.A person who has a poor self-concept, low self-esteem, or has been a victim of prior abuse has a stronger need for control and power, because it is the ability to gain power and control that validates the abuser. Often parents have very little preparation for the tasks of parenting, have unrealistic expectations about what it entails, and have little understanding of how children can be expected to behave at various stages of development.The use of alcohol or drugs reduces inhibitions and heightens the abusers’ awareness of personal insecurities.Both alcohol and drugs can, through aggravating stress and impairing judgment, cause an abuser to verbally or physically attack a child for some perceived wrong.If an individual is a victim of prior abuse, he or she is more likely to become an abuser, too, although the individual is not destined to be abusive.Estimates are that 30 percent of abused children will grow up to be abusers, in contrast to 3 percent of persons who were not abused.Personal psychological factors in parents can play a significant role in the risk of abuse.However, these factors usually relate to the stressors that parents might experience.