Studies: Kids suffer when moms abused
ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Two new studies say children
who witness abuse against their mothers often suffer from serious
emotional and behavioral problems, including post-traumatic stress
disorder, flashbacks and sleeplessness.
The studies by University of Michigan and Michigan State
University researchers suggest trauma affects more than half of the 3.3
million U. S. children who helplessly watch while mothers are battered
and verbally abused every year.
Children as young as preschool age are affected by the
UM psychologist Sandra Graham-Bermann says, ``You don't have to
wait for years to see the effects on children when their mothers are
The findings released today say youngsters who witness maternal
abuse also are more likely than others to hit, bite and insult their
peers. They're also hard-pressed to develop good social relationships,
and may become withdrawn.
Sadness, depression, worry and frustration are also more prevalent
among children who view battering.
In one study, published in the latest Journal of Interpersonal
Violence, 13 percent of the 7- to 12-year-old children examined were
diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. About one-third reported
violent nightmares or thoughts, and half had trouble paying attention.
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