Neglection of Children Causes Severe Mental Health Problems on the Child

by shannonnye1 on September 13, 2013 - 5:52pm

Neglection of children has shown to cause severe mental health problems. Children all over the world are suffering from developmental problems, anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder, and many more. 10 years ago this problem was studied during the Bucharest Early Intervention Project. Researchers noticed orphans often faced developmental problems such as difficulty forming emotional attachments. Research then showed that orphans had reduced activity on their brain. Children were removed from orphanages and placed into foster care. They were then compared to the children still in the orphanages and also to a control group which consisted of children still living with their birth parents. Studies showed that if the child was placed in a home before the age of two there was a chance they could recover from the neglect and not face many problems in the next years. The first two years of a child’s life are the most crucial. Since this study, not much has changed. Children all over the world are still being neglected. A hundred thousand children suffer from abuse or neglect each year. This doesn’t just mean children in poverty or in orphanages it also means children that are being cared for on a daily bases by someone other than their parent. Several infant care centers are actually proven to be poor quality.Babies have a stress reaction, when they are hungry or cold or want something they cry. When the baby cries the blood pressure rises, breathing increases, and muscles tighten. If the baby is ignored the baby will continue to scream however the longer this goes on the the stronger the effects of the brain and is likely to end up with an enlarged amygdala. This will also cause physical problems such as higher risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. In order to slow down the rate of neglection small programs have been created such as the Visiting Nurse Program however there have been no huge government initiatives being put into action so far. This article discusses how neglection can affect a child and how little is being done to stop  it. The neglection of children is an ongoing problem in the world and we need to come together to put a stop to it because those children are the future of society.

In my opinion I believe that more should be done to ensure children are getting the proper attention at a young age. There are many different situations in which children are being neglected.  I feel the government should do more to enforce interaction with the small children. I feel they should try and place different regulations for orphanages and day care centers to ensure each child is getting the attention they need.  Since these children are constantly being ignored at a young age they are facing serious problems as they grow older and we do not want the number of children facing these problems to increase after all these children are our future society.


Cohn, Jonathan. (2011,December). The Two Year Window.

New Republic, Vol.242(Issue18), (10-13). a446b42ad6b7%40sessionmgr114&hid=104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN=67217940


Into the Wild
When children are neglected, it is often because they have experienced a traumatic episode in their life, some more extreme than other. In the case of Genie, a young girl discovered from after 13 years of captivity, consequences can be enormous. Genie was found at the age of thirteen. At home, when she would try to express herself, her father would beat her up. Therefore, she was found barely making noises to express herself. Also, she has been tied up to a potty chair for most of her life in a room barely decorated. Therapists think that those factors might have affected her in her early development. In fact, when she was found, she crawled and could not grasp objects with her hands. According to the theory of critical period hypothesis, there is a specific age up until which one can learn language and motor skills and be able to master them. Passed puberty, one can learn but not as good as it would have been before the critical age.
This case is one where we can see the enormous effects of children neglection on their development.

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