Money trouble doesn’t warrant abuse

September 30, 2011 Editorials Print Print
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A new study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics has indicated a link between an increase in child abuse and economic recessions.

The recent study has mirrored the suspicions that pediatricians have had for awhile, and now the numbers are in.

Casey R. Akard

More than 420 children were diagnosed with abusive head trauma during the study, from across a region of 74 different counties.

The number of children diagnosed with abusive head trauma, or shaken baby syndrome, rose by 65 percent compared to pre-recession years.

The average age of children: only 9 months old.

Children from lower-income families have been known to be at greater risks for being abused, and economic recessions do not help these figures.

 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there is no single known cause of child maltreatment.

However, unemployment and poverty show a strong association with these cases of abuse, particularly neglect.

But it is important to note that most poor people do not mistreat their children.

To say that the recession in and of itself is the cause of child abuse would be another arbitrary excuse to shift blame, but the results of this study speak for themselves.

The financial factor is only one of many common factors that are associated with cases of child maltreatment.

Substance abuse, the psychological well-being of the adult, and parental histories are also common factors in child abuse cases.

Still, this should serve as no justification for the abuse of a child.

On first impression, this study seems to be downright societal blasphemy.

Everyone has seen the public service announcements urging parents not to succumb to the frustrations of a crying baby, in a campaign to educate the public on shaken baby syndrome.

After all, how can you label the abuse on a child a “syndrome”?

The Wall Street Journal recently predicted a double-dip recession to occur in the next 12 months.

What could this possibly mean for the helpless children born into a world under a blanket of financial stress?

Though financial woes can be directly correlated with the increasing numbers of shaken baby cases, dire straits do not justify physical abuse.

 

To contact Casey R. Akard,

email onlinewriter@occc.edu

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