Essay Example on Intimate partner violence and childhood physical Abuse

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Domestic violence intimate partner violence and childhood physical abuse all constitute exposure to violence in the home When children are exposed to violence in their home especially at an early age these experiences are significantly traumatizing to them Burke et al 2011 When childhood traumatic events occur regularly researchers consider them to be adverse childhood experiences ACE Researchers have determined that when a child has a high number of ACE this can have devastating lifelong developmental psychological and physiological effects on them and even decrease their lifespan by 20 years Burke et al 2011 While poverty is a risk factor for exposure to violence at home and ACE these events can occur regardless of socioeconomic status The burden of disease associated with early exposure to violence is high and resources must be allocated to research in order to find solutions for this public health epidemic 



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This paper will examine the prevalence and effects that exposure to violence in the home has on children This paper will also examine current research theoretical framework and changes over the last decade regarding children exposed to violence in the home The problem pervasiveness and effects According to current research and the Department of Justice DOJ 60 of children are exposed to violence or abuse in their homes with at least 40 of those exposed being direct victims of abuse or assault U S DOJ 2015 One study shows that close to 10 of children have witnessed assault within their family while another puts this number at 16 3 Holmes 2013 U S DOJ 2015 More than 4 5 million children in the United States are exposed to violence in the home each year Holmes 2013 The problem can range from intimate partner violence to severe child abuse Intimate partner violence is defined as threatened or completed physical assault between caregivers Miller et al 2014 It has been shown that the consequences to witnessing violent acts in the home are comparable to direct child physical abuse Miller et al 2014 Childhood exposure to violence in the home can affect the development and mental health of children in a variety of ways overtime and through adulthood What theories explain this problem has it changed over the last decade

The theoretical perspectives of childhood psychopathology associated with exposure to violence in the home come from both attachment and social learning theories Attachment theory explains that childhood disruption of detachment can occur when children lose their sense of safety and can no longer depend on their caregivers to provide an appropriate developmental environment Social learning theory builds off of the idea that early victimization in the home environment may create a maladaptive framework of future behavior Holmes 2013 Voith et al 2016 This is due to the theory that development and behavior are cumulative one stage behavior building on the next resulting in further future negative behavior Holmes 2013 Voith et al 2016 Unfortunately only one major data collection effort to determine the number of children exposed to violence has been conducted in the last decade Although this was the last major data call regarding the number of children exposed to violence in the home many studies over the last decade have been able to link adverse health effects to children exposed to violence 



These include psychological comorbidities developmental delays and a likelihood of subsequent violent acts perpetrated by adults that were exposed to violence in the home as children It has been reported that common comorbidities associated with early exposure to violence are physical psychological and developmental conditions Bright et al 2016 Physical comorbidities found have been childhood obesity COPD as adults as well as sexually transmitted diseases as the result of behavioral maladaptation Bright et al 2016 Depression PTSD anxiety increased anger internalizing behavior and suicidal behavior are examples of psychological comorbidities Bright et al 2016 Voith et al 2016 Developmental effects are shown in the form of learning disabilities poor academic performance and social delays Bright et al 2016 In addition to the many comorbidities associated with exposure to violence in the home it has been found that there are associations between childhood victimization and continual re victimization across the lifespan Voith et al 2016 Credibility of research consensus and of controversy Available research regarding childhood exposure to violence is accurate and prominent studies are strong in validity and reliability Unfortunately the available research data that is that on the number of children exposed to violence in the home are old most of these polls were taken in the National Survey of Children's health in and the U S Department of justice 2011 and 2012

However the U S DOJ did have an updated study in 2015 confirming similar results It has been widely agreed upon by researchers as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics that the pervasiveness of adverse childhood experiences associated with exposure to violence at home represents a major public health concern There is a consensus that pediatric research should be focused on childhood exposure to violence in the home and should take priority over all other pediatric health issues In conclusion when children are exposed to violence in the home it can have profound effects on their development mental health and physical well being Due to the pervasiveness of this problem the American Association of Pediatrics has recommended that priority is given to research studies involving early childhood exposure to violence Future studies should focus on appropriate interventions increasing resilience and factors that may have a protective effect against psychopathology and children that have been exposed to violence


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