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Child neglect

Child neglect is defined as any confirmed or suspected act by a caregiver or the parent. They do not provide adequate create and protection to their children, thus exposing them to factors that can endanger them emotionally, physically, or mentally. This happens most of the time due to the parents trying to throw their emotional burden on the children as a way for them to get relieved. The caretakers have also increased this child neglect to a very high degree, and they act most of the time as the perpetrators of this concept. It is a very harmful experience for the children as they get into bad company and they view themselves as not loved from the very early. This has devastating effects on the formation of the children and the general society as well. This is because the kids who are neglected grow up to become adults who have complications with their social life and how they do everything about their lives. Child neglect, abandonment, lack of supervision, inability to provide the necessary education, nourishment, clothing, and medical care are some of the different ways neglect is performed (Panagiotis, 2019).

Therefore all of these factors combined make the child inaccessible, and most of the time, the children who go through this tend to keep to themselves and are unable to open up at any point. The children who go through this also get to be silent most of the time, and they are not very visible. Therefore this even leads to them being neglected and forgotten even more because their presence is never recognized. Child neglect happens primarily at home. However, it can still occur in schools, religious organizations like churches, and other places like social gatherings and events. At home, child neglect is dominant, and it is at home whereby child neglect has very devastating effects, which are discussed below. Therefore this paper summary delves deep into discussing the role of the family in bringing up their children. The paper summary will also focus on the causes, the effects, the family situation, the treatment of the effects, and how these challenges, especially in parenting, can be addressed. The address is to create a sound and good society sound and good society in how it interacts with one another and generally the quality of a person’s social life (Stoltenborgh, 2013).

The United States department of health and human resources indicates in its 2016 report that one out of every 1000 children is neglected in the whole of the United States. This is a worrying figure since compared to other forms of mistreatment like physical abuse, which has reduced over time, the child neglect figures have not reduced. One of the leading issues that are very difficult to identify is that since neglect is an act or omission, it is very easy to be unable to identify it. Therefore people focus on other forms of mistreatment while the major silent form of mistreatment, which is child neglect, is never looked into. Child neglect does not have instant effects, and therefore most people assume it can always be assumed, which is not the case. It is the abuse that should be mostly looked into and addressed to a very great degree. It should be considered because its effects are devastating, and they occur gradually over some time. The effects are also not easy to deal with since the period within which it happens; the effects are so much ingrained into a person’s behavior and character that it is not easy to do away with them.

The types of child neglect include; supervisory, physical, medical, educational, and emotional. Supervisory child neglect is whereby the child is never supervised and is always left alone to do what they wish to do without the parent’s involvement. Physical child neglect occurs when the child does most receive basic physical needs; this is majorly caused by the child not being availed of clothing, food, water, or shelter, among other factors. Medical child neglect is a situation whereby medical needs are never taken as a priority. Therefore they are not attended to promptly even when the child is having great difficulty in their medical condition. Educational neglect is where the parents are not concerned about the education of their children. Therefore, the parents do not provide special needs education even when needed if they have a physically challenged child. Emotional neglect is whereby the child is not given their emotional needs such that they do not feel secure, loved, wanted, worthy, etc.

Child neglect can also vary depending on how severe it is. In this category, there is severe, moderate, and mild child neglect. This order follows in the manner and eh extent of the neglect, and it is also what defines the effects. The causes of child neglect are divided or classified under; family, social-economical, and intra-personal causes. Along with these causes, other factors that play a very big role in child neglect are; substance abuse, unemployment, mental health issues of parents, and poverty among the parents.

In the intra-personal causes of child neglect, the focus is on the parents’ behavior and tries to explain the link between the behaviors and the neglecting ability or trait. Some of the intra-personal causes include the inability of a parent to plan, the inability to spend money appropriately, heightened stress levels, and other factors. This mainly focuses on mothers and evaluates their nurturing ability and nature and, therefore, the above intra-personal causative tenets. However, the role of the father is not widely observed, and it is not highly discussed. Interpersonal child neglect causative factors are the factors that are based in the family and at home generally. Neglectful families are made up of transient males, or most of the time, they are of a single parent who has to work very hard to provide for the kids and therefore lacking time to look after the children. Family child neglect can also be focused on abusive relationships, making it difficult for the parents to look after the children.

The link between poverty and child neglect is a very significant one as poverty drives the parents far away from family as they try to think and come up with ways to prevent the family from being bankrupt. Therefore as the parents struggle to maintain financial fluidity, they also get to neglect their children. However, poverty in itself is not an entirely causative agent of neglect. This factor is because a humble background can provide love and care for their children. Therefore if poverty co-exists with other undesirable factors, child neglect may be realized (Garbarino, 1999).

The parenting styles play a big role in ensuring the children’s protection from this kind of mistreatment. Therefore, it comes out that the children who have emotional abuse are less likely to develop good quality relationships later in their lives due to their experiences when they were children. Therefore, this goes along to encourage parents to be available for their children to avoid these kinds of effects and issues from arising later in their children’s lives when they are grown.

The effects of child neglect are varied and many. However, if a child is neglected during their first two years, they may likely suffer from this neglect’s effects in a more great manner than if they experienced the neglect at older ages. The effects can be categorized into behavioral, cognitive, and emotional child neglect effects. It is the neglect a person receives during their childhood years that determines their behavior and how they fit in socially compared to other individuals. The people who receive neglect during their childhood years are likely to have difficulties fitting in and socializing with people around them. Apart from the social effects of child neglect, the neglected children may experience academic deficits due to their neglect when they were little children.

According to Dr. Wilson, children who are neglected when they are young have a three times probability of getting a stroke than the child who was never neglected. This research he conducted and based the results on those under the age of 18 years. Therefore, this acts as proof to the studies that suggest that neglect, abuse, and bullying have changed in the brains of grey and white matter. Therefore this is a health effect of child neglect.

In conclusion, we can say that it is important that parents and caregivers be enlightened on how they should always check up on their daily manner of doing things so that they never neglect the children under their care. They should be encouraged to keep a close watch over their children and provide the emotional care and support which are highly needed for the children so that they can be able to grow up into adults who are socially bright and dependable. The government should also create ample conditions for the parents and the caregivers to provide good care for their kids and help them grow into fully mature people.


‌ Erickson, M. F., & Egeland, B. (2002). Child neglect.

Crittenden, P. M. (1999). Child neglect. Neglected children. Research, practice, and policy. Thousand Oaks, 47-68.

Garbarino, J. (1999). Child neglect. Neglected children: Research, practice, and policy, 1.

Hildyard, K. L., & Wolfe, D. A. (2002). Child neglect: developmental issues and outcomes☆. Child abuse & neglect, 26(6-7), 679-695.

Panagiotis Karamitsos. (2019, September 6). Child Neglect: What Are Its Types, Causes, and Long-Lasting Effects? Life Advancer.

Stoltenborgh, M., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., & Van Ijzendoorn, M. H. (2013). The neglect of child neglect: a meta-analytic review of the prevalence of neglect. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 48(3), 345-355.