Child Development

Published 15 Feb 2017

Table of content


The focus of this paper is to examine and analyze child’s development particularly his emotional and social development affected by neglect and abuse. The references used in this paper include journal articles and book references.


The systematic study of progressive psychological transformations that operate in human beings as they grow up is called as Developmental Psychology. It discusses the significant alterations in the different stages of human life such as infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

Developmental Psychology deals with the differences among the mentioned different phases of human life. It allows the evaluation and analysis of the nature and origin of individual’s particular way of behaving, thinking and socializing with other people and the environment he has. It goes together with various fundamental research areas in psychology like cognitive psychology, comparative psychology, social psychology and cognitive development.

Child Development

Children mature, improve, and learn during their lives starting from birth and formative years to later life. Such development can be evaluated all the way through physical, cognitive, and social developmental highlights. If children fall short to grow up suitably they may be incapable to attain or reach their complete potential. Nevertheless, healthcare professionals and parents can work together as partners to help children grow up healthy and strong not only physically but also mentally, emotionally and socially (Feldman, 2006).

Effects of Child Neglect and Abuse on Child’s Emotional and Social Development

It is said that emotional imbalance and misbehavior among children are often triggered by mental stress. Social Phobia most commonly occurs in children (Alfano, Beidel, & Turner, 2006). They are more prone to social and emotional hazards bring about by their environment (at home, at school, in the community, etc.).

A child may easily be affected by the attitude of the persons around him and the atmosphere of the place he is situated in. More often than not, a child who is tend to be neglected by his or her parents or other family members has this initially tendency to become a loner and aloof with everyone else (Barnes, 1995). However, according to some studies, a child may manifest his desire to get the attention of the people around him or her by misbehaving. For example, the child may choose to be naughty and behave badly at school in order for him or her to get the attention of his or her parents. This reflects a negative development on the child (Feldman, 2006).

According to Barnes, a child who is neglected may have a low self-esteem. Such would make him or her feel unwanted and unloved (1995). There is also a high possibility that the child would be emotionally indifferent lacking interest to play and socialize with other individuals. Other psychologists added that some children who suffer from being neglected tend to avenge themselves by blaming other people for their miseries and failures (Feldman, 2006).

Child abuse and exploitation may greatly affect the emotional and social development of a child. Abused and molested children are more disinterested and more disturbed than those children who are neglected. Studies show that children who are suffering from this kind of social phobia perform more feebly and scantily in school activities such as “role-playing and read-aloud” performances (Alfano, Beidel, & Turner, 2006).

Child maltreatment and exposure to violence may tremendously create bad impact on the way children develop emotionally and socially (Barnes, 1995). Battered children are most likely afraid of having direct contact with other people. They may easily experience emotional breakdown and stress syndromes. Traumas are also one of the psychological results of child abuse.

More often, a child who experienced tragic experiences tends to manifest emotional imbalances and social indifference toward other individuals. Thus his or her emotional and social developments are hindered by those attitudes. A child who fails to realize his or her own importance often results to psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and the likes (Barnes, 1995).

Analysis and Conclusion

Base on the arguments and ideas given above (including the studies and researches presented), child neglect and child abuse have serious effects on child emotional and social development. Mostly, children who feel neglected have lower self-esteem and weaker character. Likewise those who are exposed to abuse are suffering from emotional sdistress and may tend to avoid interacting with other individuals (Barnes, 1995). Parents and guardians themselves perceive and realize the importance of supporting and attending to their child’s need. In the child’s formative years, he or she needs the care and attention of his or her parents. Satisfaction of a child is mostly met by having a strong bond and strong sense of security from his or her family. This would make him or her emotionally and socially safe (Johnson, Clark, & Fleming, 2002). Hence, by making the child feel loved and secured his or her emotional development will be established appropriately. Moreover, by knowing that there are lots of people who support and care for him or her, the child would be open to societal activities and different individuals in the society. Thus his or her social development is not delayed.


  • Alfano, C. A., Beidel, D. C., & Turner, S. M. (2006). Cognitive correlates of social phobia among children and adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology , 16.
  • Barnes, P. (1995). Personal, Social and Emotional Development in Children . The Open University .
  • Feldman, R. S. (2006). Child Development (4th ed.). Prentice Hall.
  • Johnson, V., Clark, T., & Fleming, J. (2002). Parents’ perception of their children’s development, perception of satisfaction, social support and level of depression. The ABNF Journal , 7.
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