Little one neglect linked to teen being pregnant

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Child neglect linked to teen pregnancy

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Children who experience neglect are seven times more likely than other victims of abuse to have teenage pregnancies, researchers at the University of Queensland say.

A study of the long-term effects of child abuse and neglect found that neglect is one of the most serious types of abuse compared to emotional, sexual, and physical abuse.

UQ retired researcher Professor Jake Najman said the 20-year study found neglected children had the highest rate of teenage pregnancies and a three to five-fold increased risk of school failure, unemployment, crime, anxiety, depression, and psychosis Cannabis had abuse problems.

"Although most of the children in our study experienced multiple types of abuse, child neglect and emotional abuse were specifically linked to the worst outcomes," said Professor Emeritus Najman.

"Neglected children, in particular, had higher rates of promiscuity, cannabis abuse, and visual hallucinations due to their abuse."

The study defined that child neglect does not provide the child with the necessary physical demands (food, clothing, or a safe place to sleep) and emotional demands (comfort and emotional support) that a child should receive, as recommended by the Department of Child's Queensland government established security.

The study found that children who experienced emotional abuse were also worse off than sexually or physically abused children.

"Emotionally abused children were particularly vulnerable to harassment, psychosis, and drug injection," he said.

The researchers looked at data from 8,000 women and children who begin in pregnancy and extend into early adulthood.

Professor Emeritus Najman initiated the Mater Hospital-University of Queensland data project on pregnancy studies (MUSP) in 1981.

The study, led by UQ Medical School and Ph.D. The graduate Dr. Lane Strathearn linked the data anonymously to state government reports on child abuse and neglect to examine how child abuse over two decades has been linked to a variety of outcomes, including cognitive, educational, psychological, sexual and physical health, and addiction.

The data showed that overall sexual and physical abuse resulted in fewer negative outcomes.

"Victims of sexual abuse experienced early sexual activity, teenage pregnancies, depressive symptoms, and post-traumatic stress disorder, but to a lesser extent than neglected children," he said.

"Physical abuse specifically led to crime and external behavior problems, as well as substance abuse."

Professor Emeritus Najman said the results highlighted the need to prioritize support for parents and young children at risk.

"These problems are extremely serious and difficult to treat in adulthood," he said.

"We must do everything we can to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

"Other studies have shown that simple interventions, such as nurses making home visits for pregnant women and young mothers, can reduce child abuse rates and help prevent some of these negative outcomes."

This research is published in Pediatrics.

Research shows that child abuse and neglect lead to increased hospital stays over time

More information:
Pediatrics (2020). DOI: 10.1542 / 2020-000123

Provided by
University of Queensland

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