Infants Who Witness Violence: Effects and Treatments Research Paper

Pages: 8 (2434 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Children

Chronic stress can cause depression of the immune function on top of other body systems that are being skillful by the brain (Rhea MH, 2011).

It is not bewildering, then, that observed changes in infant behavior be composed of a bad temper, sleep disturbances, more extreme 'startle' responses and more minor diseases (Attala JM, 2012).

Research on attachment in infancy has displayed that the more severe the level of partner violence, the greater the probability of insecure, precisely disordered, attachments. It appears that terrifying or frightened behaviour of the caregiver could possibly promote some kind of a disorganized attachment. Despite the fact that over 80% of infants in 'average' households are usually classified as 'securely attached' over 60% of babies in a sample of mothers who had been the target of domestic violence were categorized as having 'attachment that is disorganized'.

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Furthermore, the attachment figure (the mother in these situations) is a source of both comfort and fear. When it comes to these confusing situations, the infant does not develop consistent or clear approach for gaining ease and help from its mother (Maker AH, 2012).Research on the connection among cortisol levels and attachment standing displays a contrast among securely and anxiously devoted babies. Raised levels of the steroid hormone cortisol are a usual reply to pressure in humans. Also, responsive improvement by caregivers of infants' misery leads to a 'safeguarding' of the neuroendocrine system (HPA) complicated in cortisol construction. Secure babies are as a result less affected by the stress of it all. Infants that are insecure have raised cortisol levels even after slight stressors (Alpert EJ, 2012).

Research Paper on Infants Who Witness Violence: Effects and Treatments Assignment

It is as if these infants have been 'well-informed to be responsive', what has been defined as hyper vigilant, that is continuously on the outlook for hazard. As they start growing up, this may be a defense for these children that are living with some sort of violence, however if it means they are hyper-reactive, emotional to the option of hazard at school, this might make them motivated to be aggressive in readiness to defend themselves and consequently disliked with classmates.

Disturbance of attachment and its consequences

Research shows that there is an enormous amount of research studies confirm to the truth of the statement that 'the greatest theoretical influence in modern-day studies of infant-parent relations is attachment theory' (JL, 2010). A lot of these studies display a link among secure attachment in infancy and later, positive developmental results. Negative consequences have frequently been discovered where infant-parent attachments have been categorized as timid.

As said by the theory, a child's sense of security rest on security of attachment to its earliest caregiver(s) and the quality of this association aids as a model of how to communicate to individual's later in life and get what you need from them. If children learn in their earliest relations that adults are not to be relied upon, the effects are probable to be long-lasting and in depth.

Assessment and Intervention

These findings have important implications for social work practice. When social workers learn that a child has been or may have been exposed to IPV, it is important for them to assess for the negative effects not only now but also over time, especially as the child begins to enter school. Likewise, when a problematic behavior shows up, it is significant not only to measure for current exposure to IPV but also for preceding contact -- one, two, three, or more years earlier. Holmes adds that valuations need to consist of the age or developmental era when IPV exposure began in addition to the nature of exposure, as well as duration and level of cruelty. It is clear that Interventions will need to be targeted in the direction of those children who are wide-open when they are three years or younger and toward those who have experienced extended periods to or more severe procedures of IPV. "Initial assessment and intervention is essential for supporting and endorsing a future with more positive results," she concludes.

It has been exposed that emotional trauma all through infancy may do enduring harm on an individual's intelligence. The authors note that their discoveries reverberation past studies connecting early-life trauma and hardship that have identified changes in brain circuitry and structure (Maker AH, 2012). They were writing: "For the reason that initial brain organization frames later neurological development, changes in early development may have enduring significances."


It is clear that infants are affected by domestic violence in cognitive and emotional. However, we are still a long way from understanding how to best assist infants and children whose growth has been disapprovingly affected by their contact to domestic violence. There is a detailed need to speak to the dearth of knowledge regarding committers of violence and how to reach and work with them particularly when they have children. Also, with cooperation and communication among agencies and proper evaluation of programs, we are now in a place to accrue knowledge that will allow us to do a better job of helping infants from violent homes in the near future.


Alpert EJ, S.R. (2012). Interpersonal violence and the education of physicians. Acad Med., 13(4), 23-45.

Attala JM, B.K. (2012). Integrative review of effects on children of witnessing domestic violence. Issues Compr Pediatr Nurs, 23(9), 567-600.

Jaffe PG, H.D. (2006). Children's observations of violence: I. Critical issues in child development and intervention planning. Can J. Psychiatry, 34(9), 355-366.

JL, E. (2010). Children's witnessing of adult domestic violence. J Interpers Violence, 23(9), 839 -- 70.

Maker AH, K.M. (2012). Long-term psychological consequences in women of witnessing parental physical… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Infants Who Witness Violence: Effects and Treatments.  (2014, April 30).  Retrieved October 1, 2020, from

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"Infants Who Witness Violence: Effects and Treatments."  30 April 2014.  Web.  1 October 2020. <>.

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"Infants Who Witness Violence: Effects and Treatments."  April 30, 2014.  Accessed October 1, 2020.