Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Causes of child abuse Do you know that more than three millions case of child abuse were reported in the US in 1998, and that one million of the confirmed cases of US child abuse involved physical abuse and neglect ?( Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology , 1). If you find any of these facts surprising, it is because abused children often fail to report such acts. According to Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology , the most common causes of child abuse include: poverty, drug addiction, violence, personal history of physical or sexual abuse as a child and social isolation (2).

In determining the causes of child abuse, the Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology suggests that "Physical abuse does appear more frequently in poor families" (2). Economic problems such as unemployment, low income, illness in the family and inability to pay medical care are factors that contribute to such behavior. Therefore, children who live in poverty and who do not have any health insurance tend to be neglected and are considered as abused.

Chemical abuse such as drug or alcohol is also considered to contribute to child abuse. Abusive parents often have high stress in their lives, and many of them use alcohol and other drugs to cope and forget their trouble.And when parents are under the influence of such substances, they are more likely to abuse their children. " Several studies conducted during the 1970s confirmed that nearly 70 percent of substantiated cases of abuse were related to alcohol"(Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology 2). Thus, physical abuse and neglect are more common among the people who are drug addicted.

Additionally, the presence of violence in our society causes parents to abuse their children. For instance, children who live in an unsafe neighborhood characterized by high levels of violence are at greater...