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Psychological Abuse: Common & Harmful

Psychological abuse — including demeaning, bullying and humiliating — may be the most prevalent form of child maltreatment. Yet it’s among the hardest to identify or to treat.

Psychological Abuse: More Common, as Harmful as Other Child Maltreatment It may be the most common kind of child abuse — and the most challenging to deal with. But psychological abuse, or emotional abuse, rarely gets the kind of attention that sexual or physical abuse receives.

That’s the message of a trio of pediatricians, who write this week in the journal Pediatrics with a clarion call to other family doctors and child specialists: stay alert to the signs of psychological maltreatment. Its effects can be every bit as devastating as those of other abuse.

Psychological maltreatment can include terrorizing, belittling or neglecting a child, the pediatrician authors say.

“We are talking about extremes and the likelihood of harm, or risk of harm, resulting from the kinds of behavior that make a child feel worthless, unloved or unwanted,” Harriet MacMillan, one of the three pediatrician authors, told reporters.

What makes this kind maltreatment so challenging for pediatricians and for social services staff, however, is that it’s not defined by any one specific event, but rather by the nature of the relationship between caregiver and child. That makes it unusually hard to identify.

Keeping a child in a constant state of fear is abuse, for example. But even the most loving parent will occasionally lose their cool and yell. Likewise, depriving a child of ordinary social interaction is also abuse, but there’s nothing wrong with sending a school-aged boy to stew alone in his room for an hour after he hits a younger sibling. All of this means that, for an outsider who observes even some dubious parenting practice, it can be hard to tell whether a relationship is actually abusive, or whether you’ve simply caught a family on a bad day.

Psychological abuse can also include what you might call “corrupting a child” — encouraging children to use illicit drugs, for example, or to engage in other illegal activities.

In their Pediatrics paper, MacMillan and co-authors say that 8% to 9% of women and 4% of men reported severe psychological abuse in childhood when the question was posed in general-population surveys of the U.S. and Britain. A number of U.S. surveys have also found that more adults claim they faced psychological maltreatment as kids than claim they experienced any other form of abuse. This suggests that psychological maltreatment may be the most common form of abuse inflicted on kids.

Because of that, pediatricians must be as sensitive to signs of emotional maltreatment as they are to signals of sexual or physical abuse, the authors say. And while it may be possible in the event of psychological abuse to intervene to improve the child’s home life — especially where the root cause is a parent’s own mental-health issue — the authors stress:

Consideration of out-of-home care interventions should not be restricted to cases of physical or sexual abuse; children exposed to psychological maltreatment may also require a level of protection that necessitates removal from the parental home.

 

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Abuse in Childhood Common Among Alcohol Addicts

By Shari Roan

Abuse in childhood common among alcohol addicts, study finds

In a survey of 196 men and women being treated for alcohol dependence, almost one-quarter of men and one-third of women reported a history of childhood physical abuse.

Abuse in childhood appears to be a particularly strong risk factor for developing alcohol addiction later in life, researchers reported Thursday.

Alcohol dependence is linked to many risk factors — including genetics, drinking in adolescence and having other mental health disorders. A history of physical, sexual or emotional abuse in childhood is known to be another risk factor. The new study, however, shows how strong this link could be.

Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse surveyed 196 men and women who were inpatients being treated for alcohol dependence. Almost one-quarter of men and 33% of women reported a history of childhood physical abuse while rates of sexual abuse were 12% for men and 49% for women.

In addition, the study found that sexual abuse raised the risk of also developing anxiety disorder and emotional abuse increased the risk of developing depression. People who were physically abused in childhood and became alcohol dependent were more likely to have a history of suicide attempts. Alcoholics who experience more than one type of childhood abuse were more likely to develop another psychiatric disorder or to attempt suicide.

The study suggests how important trauma assessment is in alcohol-treatment services, the authors said.

The study appears in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-trauma-alcohol-20120315,0,5329235.story

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Domestic Violence: Child Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence

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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in General

 

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New Domestic Violence Online Course

 

Domestic Violence: Child Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence

Domestic Violence: Child Abuse and Intimate Partner ViolenceDomestic violence, in the form of child abuse and intimate partner violence, remains a pervasive part of contemporary life in the U.S. Its effects are deep and far-reaching. This new 2-hour online continuing education course is intended to help health professionals maintain a high state of vigilance and to be well prepared with immediate and appropriate responses when abuse is disclosed. There is a special section on the complexity of an abuse victim’s decision about if and when to leave an abuser. This course will teach clinicians to detect abuse when they see it, screen for the particulars, and respond with definitive assistance in safety planning, community referrals, and individualized treatment plans.

This course is presented in two sections. Part I will deal with the scope, definitional concepts, dynamics, recognition, assessment, and treatment of victims of child abuse. A section on bullying is included, with consideration of a contemporary variant of bullying known as “cyber-bullying.” There is also a section addressing the question of whether abused children grow up to become abusers themselves. A strengths-based model of assessment and intervention is detailed.

Part II will cover similar aspects of intimate partner violence, including women, children, and men. Sections are included on cross cultural considerations and same gender abuse dynamics. Emphasis is on identifying victims of IPV and providing screening and intervention procedures that are intended to empower victims to take control of their own lives. There are sections on the dynamics that influence when/whether abuse victims decide to leave their abusers and how clinicians can prepare for immediate interventions as soon as a client discloses that he/she is being abused.

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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in General

 

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Study: Child Abuse Bigger Threat than SIDS

By Frederik Joelving

Study: Child abuse bigger threat than SIDSNearly 4,600 U.S. children were hospitalized with broken bones, traumatic brain injury and other serious damage caused by physical abuse in 2006, according to a new report.

Babies younger than one were the most common victims, with 58 cases per 100,000 infants. That makes serious abuse a bigger threat to infant safety than SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, researchers say in the report.

“There is a national campaign to prevent SIDS,” said Dr. John Leventhal of Yale University, who led the new study. “We need a national campaign related to child abuse where every parent is reminded that kids can get injured.”

The new study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, is the first broad U.S. estimate of serious injuries due to child abuse.

Based on data from the 2006 Kids’ Inpatient Database, the last such numbers available, Leventhal’s team found that six out of every 100,000 children under 18 were hospitalized with injuries ranging from burns to wounds to brain injuries and bone fractures.

The children spent an average of one week in the hospital; 300 of them died.

The rate of abuse was highest among children under one, particularly if they were covered by Medicaid, the government’s health insurance for the poor. One out of every 752 of those infants landed in the hospital due to maltreatment.

Read more @ http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/46281207/ns/today-today_health/t/study-child-abuse-bigger-threat-sids/#.TzAWxsWJeq8

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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in General

 

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Child Abuse Price Tag for US is $124 Billion

By MyHealthNewsDaily Staff

http://www.pdresources.org/CourseDetail.aspx?Category=AllCourses&PageNumber=1&Profession=Other&Sort=CourseID&Text=child%20abuse&courseid=1060The child abuse that takes place in one year in the United States will cost the nation $124 billion over the victims’ lifetimes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings reveal the financial burden of child abuse is just as high or higher than that of costly health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes.

“No child should ever be the victim of abuse or neglect — nor do they have to be. The human and financial costs can be prevented through prevention of child maltreatment,” said Linda C. Degutis, director of CDC′s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

In 2008, there were 1,740 confirmed cases of fatal child abuse, and 579,000 nonfatal cases of child maltreatment, which include physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect, according to the report.

The cost of health care, child welfare and other services for each victim who survived their abuse will be $210,012 over the average victim’s lifetime, which is higher than the lifetime cost of stroke ($159,846 per person) and Type 2 diabetes (between $181,000 and $253,000 per person). The costs of each death due to abuse are even higher, according to the report.

Child maltreatment has been shown to have many negative effects on survivors, including poorer health, social and emotional difficulties, and decreased economic productivity. These negative effects over a survivor’s lifetime generate many costs that deleteriously affect the nation’s health care, education, criminal justice and welfare systems. Read more…

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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in General

 

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Renewal Information for Florida School Psychologists

florida licensed school psychologist license renewal

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Florida-licensed school psychologists must renew their licenses biennially, on November 30th of odd-numbered years.

Every licensee must complete 30 hours of approved CE within the two year licensure period (biennium). Of which:

  • Two (2) hours of continuing education on domestic violence must be completed every third biennial licensure renewal period. These two (2) hours shall be part of the 30 hours otherwise required for each biennial licensure renewal, and may be taken at anytime during the six years preceding the renewal for the biennial in which the credit is due. For example, if you renewed your license on November 30, 2005, you are required to complete the Domestic Violence CE before the November 30, 2011 renewal.
  • Two (2) of the 30 hours must relate to prevention of medical errors

More information can be found on the Florida Board of School Psychology website: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/schoolpsych/index.html

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for all programs and content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Psychology and Office of School Psychology (CE Broker Provider #50-1635).

Over 100 online courses are available for psychologists, including:

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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in General

 

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