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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2013 Feb;15(2):342. doi: 10.1007/s11920-012-0342-3.

Longitudinal outcomes for victims of child abuse.

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Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins Drive, 1882 JPP, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Childhood abuse and neglect (child maltreatment) represent a common and significant public health burden. The consequences of maltreatment can be seen immediately, in the short term and in the long term. Determination of the exact prevalence of childhood maltreatment is difficult, as many cases go unreported; however in reported cases there is an estimated $124 billion annual burden on the US health-care system. The evaluation of potential maltreatment is difficult as many of the initial symptoms are subtle and can be explained with alternative illnesses or injuries. Potential immediate and short-term effects include brain injury, shaken baby syndrome and behavioral regression. The potential long-term sequelae of child maltreatment are explored in detail here and include increased risks of the development of mental health disorders, substance use disorders and chronic physical complaints during development and adulthood. Lastly, the review provides an overview of current treatment approaches for victims of childhood maltreatment.

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