Throughout society, there are myriads of issues that humans tend to experience and most of them do not receive the proper attention as to making an effort to put a stop to it or even attend to the factors that may cause these issues. Child Abuse is one of these issues that have been experienced and continues to be a problem that is experienced within society. Through my research and literature review I came across the various effects of it. Not only did I come across the various effects of child abuse but I was able to come across child abuse and the effects of it on different races, White and African Americans in particular. Children who are abused, neglected, or even witness some sort of violence will experience emotional, cognitive and behavioral problems. These problems are depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, poor performances in school, engaging in alcohol and other drug uses and even early sexual experienced. With these children accumulating all of these problems they are more likely to carry these problems into their lives while growing up. They can repeat the cycle of abuse by getting into violent relationships in their teenage years and even in their adult years.
African-American individuals have higher rates of child abuse than Whites. A big part of that issue is the lack of resources in the environment that they live in, in other words, poverty. In the areas of African- American, the factors that they experience in their economic stance only makes their living worse. Not only do they have to deal with the fact that they are poor but they have to deal with what being poor can cause. Some of these factors that are experienced by individuals are either parental, environmental and children based factors which through scholarly research was provided. The parental factors include parent has already abused a child or was abused themselves, pregnancy was not wanted, parent has a background of abuse when growing up, a young, unsupported mother often with low education, parents have unrealistic expectations of the child and lack parenting knowledge, parent is isolated and has few supports, and parent has a mental illness or is abusing drugs or alcohol. Child factors include baby is sick or unwanted, child has a physical or developmental disability, child is the product of an abusive relationship, and lack of attachment between child and parent (Vega-Lopez 2008). Environmental factors are overcrowding in the house, poverty or lack of opportunity to improve the family’s resources, family violence is present, a non- biological adult living in the house, family is experiencing multiple stresses (Hearn 2014). Knowing these factors alone should trigger actions to be done about this sociological issue.
Since there are such high rates in child abuse, it has caused the close connected relationship between adult and child to be difficult. In one of the articles they discussed that in work places like camps for example, how you interact with children is apart of the training aspects of the camp. Trainees are not allowed to have children sit on their lap, share the same bed, wrestle playfully, and no tickling (Rubenstein 1994). This, in my opinion, makes it extremely difficult to build a good relationship with a child. The fact that you have to think twice before handling any situations revolving a child is a bit disturbing and annoying. Children deserve to be shown affection to but due to the way affection can be shown it can be taken for something else other than you showing your care.
Media is a very important part in reaching out to society about societal issues but sometime the media does not give enough to let the audience understand and capture the full view of the issue. This also does not make it sociological because of the simple fact that it does not show the causes of the consequences (abuse). An example is the video known as Child Abuse PSA. In this video is showed the action of a mother displaying emotional and verbal abuse to her child but it did not show what caused it. Knowing what causes these actions will help in the awareness of how serious factors contribute to the children of our society.
Child abuse affects people of all races but what I wanted to know is how to lower the high rates of poverty within the minority community. Being that I am African-American and my parents are immigrants from Ghana being less fortunate than most is something that I always dealt with. Throughout my years there has always been times where my parents have struggled to make ends meet and even though they were going through financial issues their stress from the situation never produced abusive acts. Not everyone is like my parents who found a way to cope with financial stress so helping minorities and other groups of people dealing with poverty requires action. Recovery methods might be there but we need to be able to prevent individuals from having the need to recover from an experience that is caused by poverty.