Monday, February 17, 2014

Poverty and Inequality = Increased Child Abuse

Nearly 3 million children younger than 18 years of age are abused physically, sexually or emotionally or are physically neglected each year in the United States, the Cornell researchers noted. That is about 4 percent of the youth population.

According to a nationwide study, covering all 3,142 US counties from 2005 to 2009, by Cornell researchers, “reducing poverty and inequality would be the single most effective way to prevent maltreatment of children

The Cornell researchers observed. “Child maltreatment is a toxic stressor in the lives of children that may result in childhood mortality and morbidities and have lifelong effects on leading causes of death in adults,” they wrote. “This is in addition to long-term effects on mental health, substance use, risky sexual behavior and criminal behavior ... increased rates of unemployment, poverty and Medicaid use in adulthood.”

“We have known for some time that poverty is one of the strongest precursors of child abuse and neglect...More equal societies, states and communities have fewer health and social problems than less equal ones – that much was known. Our study extends the list of unfavorable child outcomes associated with income inequality to include child abuse and neglect,” said John Eckenrode, professor of human development and director of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research in the College of Human Ecology. .

No comments: