ERIC Number: ED369578
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Violence and Young Children's Development. ERIC Digest.
Wallach, Lorraine B.
This digest examines the developmental consequences for children who are the victims of or witnesses to family and community violence. A baby's ability to trust depends upon the family's ability to provide consistent caregiving, which is compromised when the infant's family lives in a community racked by violence. When they reach toddlerhood, children need to practice skills such as jumping and climbing. However, children who live in violence-ridden communities are often confined to indoor quarters that hamper their activities. When they reach the preschool years, young children may not be able to venture outside the family because they are prevented from going out to play. During the school years, community and family violence takes a high toll on children's development. Children whose energies are drained through worry about violence have difficulty learning in school, and the cognitive functioning of children traumatized by violence can be compromised. Children who have been mistreated may have trouble getting along with others, and children whose only role models use physical force to solve problems may be unable to learn nonaggressive ways of social interaction. Children who live with violence may repress feelings, have difficulty seeing themselves in meaningful roles, feel helpless, and regress to an earlier stage of development. Children's ability to cope with violence is influenced by their temperament and by their parents' abilities to withstand the stresses of poverty and violence. School and day care staff can help children deal with the consequences of violence by offering them alternative perceptions of themselves and teaching them skills for getting along in the world. (BC)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.