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The Sequelae of Neglect

  • Nicole A. Sciarrino
  • Tyler Elizabeth Hernandez
  • Jennifer Davidtz
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)

Abstract

In childhood, abused and neglected individuals can develop seemingly functional coping strategies and behaviors; however, certain internalizing and externalizing behaviors can become increasingly maladaptive at subsequent developmental stages, contributing to the development of further difficulties (Widom, 2000). Although the impact of neglect is not as well understood as that of abuse, research examining individuals reporting perceived childhood neglect, as well as survivors of co-occurring childhood maltreatment and neglect, has revealed various functional difficulties beginning in childhood and persisting into adulthood (e.g., De Bellis, 2005; Gauthier, Stollak, Messé, & Aronoff, 1996; Glaser, 2000; Grassi-Oliveira & Stein, 2008; Kessler et al., 2010; Spertus, Yehuda, Wong, Halligan, & Seremetis, 2003; Sperry & Widom, 2013; Widom, 2000). These problems include cognitive impairments and lower intellectual functioning (De Bellis, Hooper, Spratt, & Woolley, 2009; Joseph, 1999; Strathearn, Gray, O’Callaghan, & Wood, 2001; Widom, 2000), psychopathology (Gauthier et al., 1996; Kessler et al., 2010; Powers, Ressler, & Bradley, 2009; Spertus et al., 2003; Widom, 2000), lower levels of interpersonal skills and support (Kim & Cicchetti, 2010; Sperry & Widom, 2013), impairments in emotion identification and regulation (De Bellis, 2005; Kim & Cicchetti, 2010; Pechtel & Pizzagalli, 2011), and physical health concerns (Moxley, Squires, & Lindstrom, 2012; Stirling & Amaya-Jackson, 2008; Walker et al., 1999), among others. Both direct and indirect pathways have been proposed to account for problems in adjustment in adulthood, which may stem from early childhood neglect. Most explanatory models consider not just the role of the abusive or neglectful acts themselves, but also take into account the influence of the family of origin (Gold, 2000; Widom, 2000), which may be due to the impact of the child’s perception of parenting behaviors—or lack thereof.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole A. Sciarrino
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tyler Elizabeth Hernandez
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jennifer Davidtz
    • 2
  1. 1.James A. Haley Veterans’ HospitalTampaUSA
  2. 2.Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA
  3. 3.Henderson Behavioral HealthHollywoodUSA

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