Essay on The Impact of Abuse and Neglect on the Developing Brain by Dr. Bruce Perry

3 pages
703 words
George Washington University
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Article review
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The process of childs brain development is critical to the child well being and translate to the child personality when it matures. The brain development is influenced by some factors such as a childs environment, experiences, and relationships. Other than physical effects ensuing from abuse and neglects, the results are of behavioral, emotional well being, interpersonal relationship and cognitive functioning. It is crucial for every caring parent to identify and introduce activities that provide optimal experiences and understand brain development process to ensure that there is no disruption in the process. Notably, the childs response to trauma depends on how often s/he is abused, the severity of the abuse and the relationship the child has with the perpetrator.

The strength of the article Impact of Abuse and Neglect on the Developing Brain, in my view can be gauged by looking at a clear identification of the problem while providing an accurate summary, analysis of the process by addressing the key issues, causes, effects and possible solutions. This article not only covers the process of brain development, but it also introduces the need to pay attention to every step and provide the likely consequences in case of external disruptions such as neglect or trauma to the children. It explains that the process of sequential development of the brain and the sequential development of function is guided by experience which later on translate into lifetime effects on childs emotional, behavioral, academic, social and physical perceptions. The article points out that the brainstem and midbrain, controls simple functions like respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure, while top region, limbic and cortex controls complex function including regulating emotions and thinking. Moreover, the articles help us understand the reaction or behavior of the particular individual in the presence of some circumstances, for instance, the need for safety and security to kids who underwent trauma during their brain development while providing appropriate measures for the kids who suffered neglect or abuse while young.

In addition to the child environment, experience and relationships, the type of food a child eat also contribute to how its perception when mature. Besides, epigenetic inheritance also influences the brain development. Parents who suffered specific trauma due to abuse or neglect for instance fear may pass the same to next generations.

The article points out that the brain is plastic and some of the situations can be corrected with time. If parents and society at large chose to have control for the future, the nation should take the laws of biology, and the unavoidable neurodevelopment aftermaths of childrearing practices and policies. The article outlines the role of the community in ensuring healthy child brain development through interventions such as conducting public education on development, parenting and the impact of neglect and trauma. Parents and families can prevent the development of impaired children by putting much of their efforts and dedicating most of their time, money and energy to prevent such occurrences to avoid child maltreatment. The culture and values of the society are also at stake when a child is maltreated. The community should test and implement suitable programs that would serve to identify and intervene with at-risk children and families. The prevention efforts for at-risk families should major on strengthening the family and developing on family positive attributes.

The intervention measure to control child abuse and neglect may include initiating child welfare systems to offer services such as conducting child-parent interaction therapy, Trauma-informed care, individualized service for family and children and the development of child advocacy centers.


Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., Lopez, M., Devaney, J., Spratt, T., Koopmans, C., ... & Hayes, D. (2015). Decision making in child protection: An international comparative study on maltreatment substantiation, risk assessment and interventions recommendations, and the role of professionals child welfare attitudes. Child abuse & neglect, 49, 63-75.

Herrenkohl, T. I., Hong, S., Klika, J. B., Herrenkohl, R. C., & Russo, M. J. (2013). Developmental impacts of child abuse and neglect related to adult mental health, substance use, and physical health. Journal of family violence, 28(2), 191-199.

Teicher, M. H., & Samson, J. A. (2016). Annual research review: enduring neurobiological effects of childhood abuse and neglect. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 57(3), 241-266.

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