Discussion: Treating Childhood Abuse

Discussion: Treating Childhood Abuse

In 2012, statistics in the United States indicated that state CPS agencies received 3.4 million referrals for child abuse and neglect. Of these, nearly 700,000 children were found to be victims of maltreatment: 18% were victims of physical abuse and 78% were victims of neglect (CDC, 2014). Child sexual abuse makes up roughly 10% of child maltreatment cases in the United States (CDC, 2014). The CDC considers sexual abuse at any age a form of violence. Child abuse of any kind can lead to an increased state of inflammatory markers in adulthood, as well as multiple physical illnesses and high-risk behavior such as alcoholism and drug abuse. If a PMHNP identifies child abuse, there may be a need to report the abuse to authorities. Once able to provide treatment, the PMHNP can be instrumental in reducing the long-term effects of child abuse. In this Discussion, you recommend strategies for assessing for abuse and analyze influences of media and social media on mental health. You also evaluate the need for mandatory reporting of abuse. Learning Objectives Students will: •Recommend strategies for assessing for abuse •Analyze influences of media and social media on mental health •Evaluate the need for mandatory reporting of abuse To Prepare for this Discussion: •Read the Learning Resources concerning treating childhood abuse. •Read the Child Abuse Case Study in the Learning Resources. Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post.  Discussion: Treating Childhood Abuse.Remember, once you click submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking Submit! By Day 3 Post: •What strategies would you employ to assess the patient for abuse? Explain why you selected these strategies. •How might exposure to the media and/or social media affect the patient? •What type of mandatory reporting (if any) is required in this case? Why?

Strategies to Assess the Patient for Abuse

The assessment of Trauma needs an in-depth exploration of the severity and nature of the involved trauma, the consequences and the current symptoms related to the trauma. Morgan’s case study is amongst the many that exist where children find themselves under the control and care of hostile caregivers that take advantage of their predicaments and go ahead to physically and sexually abuse them (Kisiel et al., 2014).  Therefore, in this case, a trauma-informed mental health assessment will be the best for Morgan.  Comprehensive counselling will also be required to develop trust and openness for the client to be able to reveal his predicaments, Individuals who find it difficult to regulate their emotions have been associated with sexual and physical abuse and personality disorders include Borderline Personality Disorder(Kisiel et al., 2014).

Therefore, using the right strategy for assessment is a great step towards the detection of abuse especially in instances where the child might have been threatened with fear of disclosure. The trauma-informed mental health assessment strategy uses a framework that is structured to gather information across different functional domains. It further identifies and addresses children’s and family’s needs of those exposed to trauma (Kisiel et al., 2014).   It is also efficient in such a manner that it has a coding that summarizes the vital information that can be communicated to other mental health providers and family members. Discussion: Treating Childhood Abuse.


How Exposure to Social Media Might Affect the Patient

Social media has a significant influence in shaping the behavioral patterns, attitudes and personality of teenagers. Therefore, its impact on mental health cannot be ignored. The behaviors of adolescents and children tend to be adversely affected by acts of sex, drugs and violence. The association that exists between how messages in the media are perceived and observed behavior among children and teenagers is also strong (Berryman, Ferguson & Negy, 2017).  There is a lot of currently existing literature which explores the role that social media plays in mental health indicating that: social media helps to relieve depression and anxiety and to promote social interaction through the creation of a wide support base. Other literature suggests that, depending on the circumstances, social media can lead to suicidal ideation and depression in teenagers (Berryman, Ferguson & Negy, 2017).  Basing on the fact that Morgan has a diagnosis of depression and anxiety, his condition is likely to be exacerbated with exposure to social media. However, should social media be used majorly for beneficial purposes such as joining social support networks of children who have been through the same, he will receive immense social, psychological and emotional support (Berryman, Ferguson & Negy, 2017).

Mandatory Reporting Required In This Case

In the United States, all 50 states and territories which are contiguous have statutes which identify individuals required to report child abuse to the relevant agencies which in this case could be; a law enforcement agency, Child Protective services or the   toll-free hotline of the state for child abuse (Douglas & Walsh, 2014).  Reporters who are mandated include: clergy, teachers, law enforcement officers, healthcare providers and mental health workers. Discussion: Treating Childhood Abuse. The guidelines delineating how and when to report are provided by the US Department of Health and Human services. The reports may include confirmed abuse or the suspicion of abuse in emotional, physical or sexual forms (Douglas & Walsh, 2014).  In the case of Morgan, a close relative had molested him, who is now out of jail.  This requires mandatory reporting to the Child Protection Services to ensure that Morgan is safeguarded from chronic abuse by the relative.


Berryman, C., Ferguson, C. J., & Negy, C. (2017). Social media use and mental health among young adults. Psychiatric quarterly, 1-8.

Douglas, H., & Walsh, T. (2014). Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Marginalised Families, Mandatory Reporting Laws and the Identification of Severe Child Abuse and Neglect.

Kisiel, C., Conradi, L., Fehrenbach, T., Torgersen, E., & Briggs, E. C. (2014). Assessing the effects of trauma in children and adolescents in practice settings. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics23(2), 223-242. Discussion: Treating Childhood Abuse.