Child maltreatment (CM) and its consequences have a looping, interconnected nature. It is known that “socioeconomic status, isolation, stigma are risk factors for but also a result of ACE (adverse childhood experiences).” Therefore, the victims of child maltreatment exhibit a set of 46 outcomes in cognition, physiological and mental health, addiction problems, and sexual problems.
Maternal depression, which is also a predictor of CM and neglect, is proven to cause long-term physical harm to the child’s health. Consequently, this weakened health state leads to a variety of problems – ranging from poor academic performance during school and university years to financial problems later in life.
These factors, as well as several others, are explored in a number of studies. Mehta et al. illustrate a vast number of outcomes, “PTSD, obesity and eating disorders, alcohol and drug problems, poor school achievement, depression, dissociation, social impairment, antisocial behavior, anxiety, self-harm and suicide, and increased chance of re-victimization.” Concerning the recurrent nature of CM and the topic of revictimization, it is also important to point out the role of the mother’s well-being, as it is the prime factor in child development.
Thus, the main emotional outcome of CM is shame, which “persists long after the abuse ends.” It can cause postpartum women to associate parenting with childhood trauma – as they naturally reflect on their own childhood during this time. Overall, the consequences of CM tend to influence the mental state of the subject in a highly negative manner.