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Child physical abuse: Risk for psychopathology and efficacy of interventions

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Abstract

The emerging research on child physical abuse (CPA) is reviewed herewith. Incidence of CPA may be as high as 11% for adolescents in the US. Child physical abuse survivors vary in their symptom picture of severity and type. Children who have been physically abused may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, or disruptive behavior disorders. Additionally, developmental disturbances include problems with attachment, social skills, and affect regulation. Chronic abuse is associated with more severe psychopathology. Cognitive processing of the abuse may mediate the impact of CPA on development. Service delivery studies indicate that as many as half of children with substantiated cases of CPA do not receive mental health services. Emerging treatment outcome research reveals the potential efficacy of cognitive behavioral treatment for CPA. Reactions to existing literature and recommendations for future work are presented.

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Brown, E.J. Child physical abuse: Risk for psychopathology and efficacy of interventions. Curr Psychiatry Rep 5, 87–94 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-003-0024-2

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