Child abuse and neglect in infancy can have a significant impact on the development of a child and, what is more, child abuse and neglect in infancy can influence the further life of a child. At this point, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the infancy is the starting point in the development of a child in all domains, including biological, cognitive, and psychological development. Therefore, child abuse and neglect in infancy can provoke serious problems in the child’s development and child abuse and neglect should be prevented by all possible means.

First of all, specialists (Hollis, 1991) point out that infancy lays the foundation to the further development of a child. After the birth, a child starts active growth and development. It is during infancy the child starts learning the surrounding world and develops basic skills, which help him or her to carry on his or her development in the later stages of cognitive development (Maslow, 1970). In this respect, the biological development is particularly important because the child learns such basic skills as walking, talking and others. Naturally, if a child is neglected or abused, he or she may fail to develop basic skills such as walking or talking (Gagne, 1995). As a result, the child may suffer from the retardation in the physiological as well as psychological development. For instance, if a child cannot walk by the age of two, he or she will have problems with the development of bones, skeleton, muscles and so on. As a result, the normal physiological development of a child will be under a threat. This problem may emerge if parents pay little attention to physical exercises of a child.

As for psychological problems, they may be even more serious because physiological problems can be eliminated through the intensive physical training and exercises with the help of which a child can cope with physiological problems caused by neglect or abuse. Psychological traumas received by a neglected or abused child in infancy may be not evident (Frosh, 1991). Nevertheless, child abuse and neglect in infancy can have far going psychological problems. For instance, a child may suffer from the lack of parental care that may provoke various phobias in a child or else a child may have problems with social integration, i.e. socialization. In addition, the child may suffer from nightmares, anxiety and other psychological problems provoked by the child neglect and abuse.

Finally, in terms of cognitive development, a child suffering from neglect and abuse is likely to face problems with transition to the higher stages in the cognitive development (Elliot, 1992). What is meant here is the fact that the neglected or abused child is likely to stay in the infancy stage longer than his or her peers. Such a child may need a substantial psychological assistance to cope with his or her problems.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that child neglect and abuse in infancy can lead to significant physiological, psychological and cognitive problems in the child’s development.


Elliot, A. (1992). Social Theory and Psychoanalysis in Transition: Self and Society. New York: Allyson and Bacon.
Frosh, S. (1991). Identity Crisis, Modernity: Psychoanalysis and the Self. Boston: St. Martin Press.
Hollis, W. F. (1991). “Humanistic Learning Theory and Instructional technology: Is Reconciliation Possible?” Educational Technology, 31 (11).
Gagne, R. (1995). The Conditions of Learning. New York: Hold, Rinehart and Winston.
Maslow, A. H. (1970). Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper and Row.

CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT 9.1 of 10 on the basis of 2990 Review.