Child Neglect and Deprivation

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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The intent of this paper is to delve into the subject of child deprivation and neglect. Being a parent, it is difficult to fathom neglecting my child of nurturance and love. I believe that nurturance and comfort is something that is instinctually given to children by their parents. As this paper will show, though, some parents have difficulty in doing so for a number of reasons.

"The Child Welfare Information Gateway" defines child neglect as, "A condition in which a caretaker responsible for the child, either deliberately or by extraordinary inattentiveness, permits the child to experience avoidable present suffering and/or fails to provide one or more of the ingredients generally deemed essential for developing a person's physical, intellectual, and emotional capacities.". However, there are significant differences in the judgments of professionals as to what constitutes child neglect. Variations from state to state and even in cultural standards can mean the difference between a serious allegation of child neglect and simple parenting techniques.

Communities' definition of child neglect also vary widely. For instance, one community may see leaving your child home alone in order to go to work as acceptable while others see it as neglect.

The consequences of neglect and deprivation are distressing. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are at least two theories attached to understanding child neglect. The first theory, the attachment theory, states that neglected infants and toddlers do not develop secure attachments with their caregivers. Because of the hostile, rejecting, and inattentive attitude the children encounter, they develop insecure, nervous and disoriented attachments with their neglectful caregivers. These feelings of insecurity hinder the child's ability to develop his/her own feelings of self-confidence and independence. Therefore, developmentally speaking, neglected children are virtually unable to become socially and emotionally competent unless...