Posts Tagged ‘abuse’

Won’t you be my neighbor? And can we MAKE it a beautiful day in the hood?

April 6, 2011

A recent New Yorker article by Paul Tough, “The Poverty Clinic,” is wonderful and inspiring, although too narrowly titled in my view.  It is about a parenting hero, Dr. Nadine Burke, who is making a difference with some of our least supported and most hurt children and families; and it’s also about the effects of abuse in childhood on not just emotional, but also physical health in adulthood.  But it’s also about how to help, how to connect, how to work more effectively… by taking feelings more strongly into account even when looking at physical healing—and that is about the world we all live in, a world where the “poverty” may be spiritual, compassion-oriented or consciousness-oriented.

Abuse in kids leads to later psychological and physical illness when they grow-up (see the ACE Study, which I wrote about previously, and which underpins Burke’s actions).   Since we cannot be happier than our least happy child, if that child lives in the hood, the barrio or in rural poverty (or in a more economically advantaged part of town, even under our own roof) we must do something about it.  And that something starts with accurately understanding feelings, something that both medicine, and our broader culture, have given short shrift.  Why is this?  Perhaps we just don’t know how to deal with emotion effectively… and we have not yet bought into how effective and important it is to attune with our kids:  this is a huge part of how we enhance self-esteem, improve academic performance, reduce wasted health-care dollars (i.e. after people are already very sick) and heal out children and our collective community.

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Seeing evil, doing evil

January 15, 2010

A recent article in Monitor on Psychology by Tori DeAngelis, “Porn use and child abuse,” presents evidence about links between those involved in internet porn and those who perpetrate abuse on children directly.

Now this may seem obvious to those of us who would intuit the relationship between acting out and watching (after all, why on earth would someone want to look at child abuse if one isn’t compelled toward such behavior, whether it is being repressed or not?).

Michael Bourke, PhD, Chief Psychologist of the U.S. Marshals Service, and Andres Hernandez, PsyD penned a study published in April’s Journal of Family Violence (Vo. 24, No. 3), that focused on 155 men convicted of possessing, receiving or distributing internet-based child pornography.  The men took part in an 18-month treatment program.  At sentencing, 74% of the men had no documented hands-on victimization, but by the end of treatment, 85% confessed that they sexually molested at least one child (with an average of 13.5 victims per convict). 

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Four Aces: a terrible hand?

October 12, 2009

all in agnesThey say, “lucky in cards, unlucky in love,” but when it comes to “ACEs” (or “adverse childhood experiences” such as abuse, neglect and family dysfunction in childhood) those unlucky in childhood are also unlucky in adulthood—particularly unlucky about getting sick and dying. 

We’ll take a look at the details in a moment, but the key point here is that when we as parents, and as a society, allow kids to be abused, neglected or exposed to stressors such as parental alcoholism or witnessing a parent being abused we are also setting them up for significant increases in likelihood of serious illness and premature death.  This is the epitome of “unfair” and must inform both our parenting and our social policy.

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