43 CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS 3. Juvenile Delinquency and Criminal Acts According to research funded by the (US) National Institute of Justice, victims of child abuse and neglect are more likely to develop antisocial behaviors and associate with others that display these antisocial tendencies. Several other studies also found evidence supporting the information researchers funded by the National Institute of Justice uncovered. The study also found that child abuse and neglect affected males and females differently. Females tended to internalize their behaviors, resulting in anxiety or social withdrawal. Males, on the other hand, displayed externalizing behaviors such as bullying or aggression.This behavior followed them into adulthood. 4. Psychological and Behavioral Issues Experiencing child abuse and neglect is also a risk factor for developing psychiatric disorders such as: • Depression • Anxiety • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder • Anorexia or Bulimia • Behavioral Disorders Research on childhood trauma and its effect on the brain suggests that stunted or impaired brain development from abuse may play a part in leaving victims vulnerable to these disorders. One study also found that adults with major depression who were also victims of child abuse and neglect responded less effectively to antidepressant treatments. Some studies also found that victims of sexual abuse were more likely to become obese when they grew older. While experiencing child abuse and neglect does increase your chances of experiencing these issues, that does not mean that you are destined to struggle with them for the rest of your life. 5. Impaired Cognitive Skills and Executive Functioning Child abuse and neglect can disrupt brain development, resulting in an impairment of the brain’s executive functions. These functions include working memory, self-awareness, planning, and problem-solving. This damage can result in: • Learning Disabilities • Poor Grades • A Higher Chance of Dropping out of School These unfortunate short-term effects can have a drastic impact on a child’s future education and career prospects. 6. Direct and Indirect Costs to Society Abuse and neglect have far-reaching consequences that do not stop at the victim. Society, as a whole, also suffers from the effects of long-term child abuse. In 2015, the (US) Center for Disease Control found that the total lifetime economic burden of child abuse and neglect added up to $428 billion. Direct costs, such as hospitalizations and foster care payments, and indirect costs such as long-term care, factored into this total. (continued) (continued)