Psychological Maltreatment

Every other year psychological maltreatment cases go unreported due to the fact the people who experience it do not understand or are not aware of what is happening to them.it is an under-recognized form of abuse among the children although many children are abused every year (Russell, 2019). It is the most challenging form of violence towards the children and victimization of children has been on the high increase in many nations. Psychological maltreatment involves neglect, physical and sexual abuse amongst the children that cause emotional harm. Psychological abuse includes poverty-related afflictions, lack of emotional attachment that makes the child undergo stress, trauma and feel exploited.

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Current statistics were undertaken in 2017 by the Child Maltreatment Agency, and Neglect reports in the United States indicate that more than 500,000 children are victims of psychological maltreatment that is child abuse and neglect (https://www.acf.hhs.gov). Such include acts that ignore social interactions, active or passive, verbal or non-verbal without the intention to negatively affect or harm the emotional, social and physical development of the child. Child abuse is an issue which needs to be addressed because many children suffer in the hands of the caretakers without the knowledge of the parents. Psychological maltreatment among the children has been linked to problems identified on socialization, educational, developmental, attachment disorders and disruptive behavior, which may lead to psychopathology. The typical outcome of such child maltreatment is usually frequent, and although children are perceived to be young, they internalize the abuse and become unlovable, fearful and emotionally needy. The result is always a rejection of the caretaker or parent by the child for someone else as a form of self-defense, and most of the parents may not understand the cause of such change of behavior amongst the children. Child maltreatment is a multicausal effect in various systems in different levels for instance family, personal/individual level or community then best practices should be put into consideration to deal with child abuse and mistreatment at all levels. However, best practices such as parent-child assessment and treatment foster formulation and designing of prevention and intervention strategies or programs/plans to reduce psychological maltreatment amongst children. Such intervention programs include Parent-Child Interaction program, Abused-Focused Cognitive Behavior Program and The Finding Words Program.

From the intervention mentioned above and prevention programs, I am going to focus on The Finding Works program and Parent-Child Interaction Program (Arslan, 2017). The Finding Works program is an intervention plan which involves a broad scope concerning psychological maltreatment amongst the children at all levels that is individual, community and family level. It includes strategies on child development, problems on suggestibility, memory and linguistics as a form of investigative program to interview children on such issues affecting them. The program involves assessment and investigation where the maltreated children are allowed to interact with adults, and in the process, questions are posed to them concerning their experience. With the help of competent informants, the adults will gather information from children and in turn seek for solutions. Young children always respond to adults with considerable brevity; thus, the Finding Works programs puts focus on young children and try to avoid compromise of information accuracy (Teti, 2016).  Parent-Child Interaction Program, on the other hand, is an intervention designed program for parents and children between the age of 3 and eight as a short-term intervention plan. The program focuses on the external and internal psychological maltreatment and any other form of child abuse undertaken in two phases. The approach is parent and child-focused on the essence that there are interventions directed for parents and others for children. The parents are taught how to play with therapy skills with their children with traditional integrated methods such as behavioral principles for example increase of imitation, praise, reflection, enthusiasm and description to gain the attention of the child. The purpose of child-directed interactions is meant to improve parent-child interrelationships increasing self-esteem of the child, and in turn, the child will open up what he or she goes through in the absence of the parent. Parent-Focused Interaction models involve strategies and modification principles directed to parents to improve their command s towards their children effectively. The parent has to understand the moods, behavior and skills of the child before undertaking intervention strategies.

However, the two intervention programs have successfully helped in reducing psychological maltreatment among the children (Russell, 2019). The outcome of both strategies and plans have overcome behavioral problems and issues linked to psychological abuse and child abuse, increased parental skills concerning how they can identify stress and violence in their children. To a greater extent, both intervention programs have lessened psychopathology and decreased psychological maltreatment of children. Each program has its strengths and weaknesses. The Finding Work Intervention Program the therapy is formulated to increase relationship, create physical and emotional attunement, enhance emotional competency, improve communication, trust, and awareness amongst the children and reduce stress (https://www.acf.hhs.gov). Thus the method is suitable to all people in all levels whether family level, community or personal/individual level. Also, the program is easy to apply because it involves the interaction of adults with the children to interview them with unstructured leading questions, thus making the children open up to the adults. The weakness of this program is that it is a call for the cooperation of parents because the therapy uses behavioral principles that need the parent to monitor their children and ignore or rewards behavior change. However, if the parent does not follow these principles, then the program will not bear any good results; thus, there is a need to improve strategies of the intervention. Also, the application may look to be simple to follow, but in the real sense, it is rigid and does not apply to all people because it requires a knowledgeable person to apply failure to which some may not use it to eradicate child abuse and neglect.

The Parent-Child Interaction Program, on the other hand, is a suitable and straightforward method to use to prevent the psychological maltreatment of children and any other form of child abuse (Teti, 2016). Reasons behind my argument are because of its strengths, which include; it has a broad scope of application that is it involves two phases-parents directed and child-directed; thus, its applicability is vast in range. It is also suitable for all kinds of child abuse and any other abuse; therefore, it applies to physical, emotional and other violations apart from psychological maltreatment. The weakness with this intervention program is that it puts focus on specific factors that lead to the risk of family and child problems such as behavioral outcome thus nit puts weight on identifying risk factors ignoring the result of all other abuses in the society. For instance, when poverty is defined to be a barrier to child protection, the focus is put on the poverty level putting aside other contributing factors such as child loneliness, parent distance and lack of communication between the caretaker and the parents.

From the above discussion, both intervention programs are suitable to decrease psychological maltreatment in society (Arslan, 2017). However, considering the effectiveness of each, I would recommend the Parent-Child Interaction Program because its scope of application is broad. The program is simple and suitable for everyone, although specific identifying factors are considered; this may not outline the effectiveness of the program. Therefore, in conclusion, I recommend the Parent-Child Interaction Program since many child cases of abuse originate from the background that is family and community. Thus eradication of contributing factors will be the best strategy.

 

References

Arslan, G. (2017). Psychological maltreatment, coping strategies, and mental health problems: a brief and effective measure of psychological maltreatment in adolescents. Child abuse & neglect68, 96-106.

It is retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/research-data-technology/statistics-research/child-maltreatment. On 20/08/2019.

Russell, L. (2019). Child maltreatment and psychological distress among urban homeless youth. Routledge.

Teti, D. M. (Ed.). (2016). Parenting and Family Processes in Child Maltreatment and Intervention. Springer.