As many people involved in the care of abused children already know – they have greater challenges ahead in life that can (and often do) derail their chances of success. Child abuse and neglect often leave children struggling with self-esteem issues, chronic depression, self-harming behaviors, and a host of other issues they struggle to overcome. Studies have shown that they are more likely to face substance abuse issues, and tend to have greater challenges maintaining stable relationships later in life. All in all, abuse sets them up for much harder adult lives.
Though, while the situation can sound very sad, and even hopeless, the truth is that there is light ahead in the darkness, and it’s not an oncoming train! According to a recent ongoing study, conducted jointly by the University of Michigan and the University of Washington, educational success can help abuse survivors overcome a number of the challenges they face in life, which is very exciting news!
What exactly is the study looking into, and why?
This study, which is still ongoing, is one of the few in the U.S. which tracks individuals over the course of several decades to see exactly how abuse and neglect affect people through their teens and into adulthood. It also hopes to determine why it is that some children are resilient to the effects of abuse, while others struggle so much. The study covered children who have suffered all forms of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse, physical violence and physical and emotional neglect.
According to Hyunzee Jung, a U-W researcher and the lead researcher on the study, “offending in adolescence can persist into adulthood if left unaddressed, so it’s important to identify and act on factors that predispose individuals to ongoing patterns of antisocial behavior.” Previous studies of this type never separated juvenile and adult chronic offenders from those who only offend in their youth and then move on to lead crime-free adulthoods. This study will track the two separately, which they hope will shed light on how some children survive childhood abuse and go on to lead successful lives.
Does educational success really help a child overcome the effects of abuse?
So how exactly does doing well in school negate the effects of childhood abuse you may wonder? Well, according to results accumulated so far, children who suffer abuse are more likely to exhibit antisocial behaviors. This in turn makes them more likely to commit crimes during their adolescence and later adulthood. According to results gathered so far during the study, educational successes can reduce the chances that a child will commit crimes during the course of their life.
So how does doing well at school make a child less likely to break the law? Not all of the data is in on that one yet, but so far the results are showing that school success actually kept teens from commiting crimes and also reduced their instances of antisocial behaviors. As to why, the jury is still out on that. Perhaps because doing well in school boosted their self confidence and allowed them to see a future for themselves. Perhaps because increased learning helped them see that there were alternatives available to them.
There is still a lot more to learn from this study!
The results of the study gathered so far were published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, however the study is still ongoing, which means there will be a lot more to learn in the future from the results of this study. As more information is made available, we look forward to sharing highlights and interesting points with our readers.
Until then, if you or a loved one have been accused of child abuse or neglect in Michigan, our skilled child abuse defense attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help. We have defended many parents over the years, and handled many false accusation cases, and have achieved successful results time and again for our clients. Call 866 766 5245 to discuss your situation with someone today. We are here to help.