Causes of Child Abuse

All of the causes of child abuse are not known, but research points to several factors that put children at risk for abuse. There are many reasons why some people have difficulty meeting the demands of parenthood, including:

  • Immaturity and unrealistic expectations
  • Unmet emotional needs
  • Stresses of child care
  • Economic crisis
  • Domestic violence
  • Lack of parenting knowledge
  • Difficulty in relationships
  • Depression or other mental health problems
  • Drug or alcohol problems

When these circumstances combine with the challenges of child rearing, parents who are otherwise well intentioned can harm or neglect their children.

Child abuse and neglect cross all ethnic, social and economic lines. Most instances of child abuse are not caused by inherently violent or evil people, but by parents who are unable to cope with their tempers in a time of crisis.

The best way to prevent child abuse and neglect is to support families and provide parents with the skills and resources they need to be effective caregivers.