Children And Substance Dependent Parents

“In a way, I wanted my mum to go back to prison, because she was clean (drug free) for a few weeks when she came out of prison.” ~ Child, (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction).

The children of parents with substance dependence and abuse problems suffer silently.

Substance-related problems are seldom short-lived. From the beginning of the problem through its progression men and women find they have become parents. This was likely not thought through. This situation is risky business for child development.

The children living in environments of drug or alcohol use and abuse are at risk. They are at risk physically, emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, socially, and long term problems are the rule, rather than the exception. Parents may have a wake-up call when Child Protective Services gets involved, when law enforcement comes on the scene, or when the child breaks the code of silence and decides to share his secret with others, who in turn tell someone else.

Its not that parents who are using substances are bad people. Parenting is a full time job and there is no time to check out and be in the numbed world substances provide.

Full story of substance dependent parents at PsychCentral

Psychology’s answer to trolling and online abuse

Psychology Answers Online AbuseDo we each harbor a dark passenger? A malevolent psychopath? A fragile narcissist? Contrary to popular belief, decades of psychological research shows that anyone is capable of aggression, cruelty and violence. The “self” is a murky mixture of light and shade.

Lately the dark side seems to be winning. On Thursday, Downing Street called for a boycott on the website following the tragic death of Hannah Smith. Meanwhile, the barrage of threats directed at Caroline Criado-Perez and Stella Creasy has led to several arrests and forced Twitter to work on better ways of handling abuse. Beyond triggering action and debate, these cases have fuelled the growing realization that online abuse is disturbingly common, especially for young girls and women with public profiles.

While most of us agree there is a problem, much less has been said about possible solutions. Are our only options punitive or regulatory? As law blogger David Allen Green explains, simply banning or criminalizing a behavior doesn’t make it magically disappear. Could there be more effective ways to quell online abuse without stifling freedom of speech or censoring society’s most vulnerable?

Psychology may hold a big piece of the puzzle. Nearly 10 years ago, the American psychologist John Suler argued that online environments unleash aspects of our personality that we normally keep under guard – a phenomenon he referred to as the online disinhibition effect.

Full story of psychologies answers to online abuse at The Guardian

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Bullying Exerts Psychiatric Effects Into Adulthood

Bullying Effects into AdulthoodOnce considered a childhood rite of passage, bullying lingers well into adulthood. Bullies and victims alike are at risk for psychiatric problems such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide when they become adults, reported a study partially funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) that was published in the April issue of JAMA Psychiatry.


Bullying is a repetitive, aggressive act done to abuse or intimidate others. It can take on various forms—primarily verbal, emotional, and physical, although cyberbullying is also on the rise. Typically these scenes occur inside school or on the playground, but they can also happen at home or at work. A power imbalance usually is involved in which one child or a group of children torments another child who is considered “weaker.” Methods employed by bullies include threats, rumor-spreading, and exclusion.

Most of what experts know about the effects of bullying comes from short-term observational studies. These studies reflect general society’s view that most people overcome these events by the time they become adults.

Full story of bullying effecting into adulthood at Health Canal

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Teen Dating Abuse

Teen Dating AbuseAbuse knows no rules, no boundaries, and does not take exception with the wealthy or the poor. Abuse doesn’t care if you are the clever one, the beauty, or the hunk down the street. Anyone can find themselves in a potentially abusive relationship. Once in one of these relationships it may place you in a trance and you may find yourself unable to extract yourself.

Domestic violence is also known as intimate partner violence. Violence is an interesting word. It can speak about physical harm, sexual harm, or an entire array of emotional repercussions. Often people think domestic violence has to do with marriage, hence the word domestic. If we use the description of  intimate partner violence we see it opens up how we think about abuse.

Can teenagers be involved in intimate partner violence? Absolutely. Teenagers date, they engage in sexual intimacy, and they spend lots of time together. Most of their time together is spent in isolation and away from the watchful eyes of others. This is clearly different than a married couple where parents, in-laws, and even neighbors or children have a viewing angle of the relationship. Teen relationships often exist in a very private setting.

Full story of teen dating abuse at Psych Central

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Abuse Of Mom In Childhood And Autism Risk

Abused Mother and Autism RiskThe latest in the litany of “this is linked to autism” findings is abuse of the mother in childhood. Researchers publishing in JAMA Psychiatry report that women who experienced the “highest level” of abuse when they were girls had about three times the risk of non-abused women of having an autistic child. In the current work, based on data collected in the course of the large Nurses’ Health Study II, the authors looked at data for 54,963 women who reported in 2005 whether or not they had a child with autism. The women also completed a 2001 questionnaire about their experiences with childhood abuse. Of this group, 451 were the biological parent of an autistic child.

The authors offer four possible explanations for the mathematical link they identified between maternal childhood abuse and having an autistic child. The first is that they left out some other important factors, such as infection or poor diet. The second, to which they devote the most words, is that imbalances of various interacting stress-related pathways, including inflammation, somehow led to autism in an abused woman’s child. Their third possibility still ties in inflammation, but this time, epigenetic factors–influences on the mother’s gene expression–would be to blame. Finally, they posit that childhood abuse often comes from mentally ill family members and suggest that a genetic link between mental illness and autism might explain the findings.

Full story of moms and autism risk at Forbes

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Nancy Jusky column: April is Childhood Abuse Prevention month

April is Child Abuse Prevention“When kids are safe, they are happy and healthy!” This is the positive spin that Sheboygan County’s Team Blue Ribbon is putting on Child Abuse Prevention during the month of April featuring a collaborative effort of outreach activities throughout the community.

Outreach education during April will include 25,000 placemats in English, Hmong and Spanish, which will be distributed to 30 area restaurants by the Team Blue Ribbon committee and the Volunteer Center of Sheboygan County. Plymouth Utilities stuffers will reach 7,500 homes filled with “how to” tips to keep kids safe and happy. Just a few of those tips are:

» Keep the lines of communication open. Encourage children to feel free to talk about concerns. Respond in a way that tells them you care about them.

Full story on abuse prevention month at Sheboygan Press

Nine-year-old boy suspended for ‘sexual harrassment’

By Gregory Kane

Sexual Harassment In SchoolThis is a tale of a bus and a guy named Bostic.

Bostic’s first name is Jerry. He’s probably a pretty swell guy, I suppose. At least, by his own admission, he is.

He spent 44 years as an educator. And, Bostic said recently, he "really enjoyed" working with the kiddies.

The bus in this story is the figurative one that Bostic got tossed under. Details of the Bostic and the bus story go like this.

Bostic, until very recently, was principal of Brookside Elementary School in Gastonia, N.C. One of the students there was a 9-year-old fourth-grader named Emanyea Lockett.

Little Emanyea must have shown signs that he was on his way to becoming a heterosexual male, and there are elements in America today that would sure like to nip that trend in the bud. Emanyea told one of his fellow students that he thought a certain female teacher was "cute."

Full story at The Examiner

Sheldon Kennedy tells U.S. Senators more education needed to fight abuse

By Sheldon Alberts

Sheldon KennedyWASHINGTON — When Sheldon Kennedy learned the details of child sexual abuse allegations against former Penn State defensive coach Jerry Sandusky, they must have sounded all too painfully familiar.

A trusted authority figure. Vulnerable kids. Missed signals. And a sporting community, then a nation, stunned that it could go on so long.

Kennedy, a former NHL player who was sexually abused by disgraced junior coach Graham James, told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday it’s OK to be angry. But it’s also vital, he said, that government and sporting authorities take dramatic steps to educate adults in how to identify and prevent more abusers from finding new victims.

Testifying before a U.S. Senate committee, Kennedy urged sports groups and governments to require mandatory training for any adult who signs up to work with kids. Actions taken in Canada can serve as a model, Kennedy told a U.S. Senate subcommittee on children and families.

Full story at Vancouver Sun

Energy drinks cause problems for some

By Dinah Voyles Pulver

Kids Drinking Energy DrinksTempting promises lure buyers from the attractive cans of energy drinks on convenience store shelves: power, energy, endurance.

In a fast-paced lifestyle, where teens and adults alike often rush from one thing to another, those promises boosted energy drinks to wild popularity over the past decade, with sales rising more than 200 percent. However, a new report from the National Institutes of Health indicates emergency room visits related to the highly caffeinated drinks — often for rapid heartbeat and other side effects — also soared.

There’s no doubt the popularity of the drinks is rising, said Dr. Peter Springer, director of the emergency department at Halifax Health.

"Just talking to the younger adults, even high school kids, that’s their big deal," Springer said. "They’re not eating lunch and they’re substituting these drinks."

Full story at News Journal

Mark Curran, 7-Year-Old, Under Investigation For Sexual Harassment (VIDEO)

By Laura Hibbard

Mark Curran Sexual HarassmentA 7-year-old boy at South Boston’s Tynan Elementary School is under investigation for sexual harassment after he struck a boy in the groin, The Boston Globe reports.

The boy’s mother, Tasha Lynch, says her son, Mark Curran, was only defending himself after the other boy allegedly choked Curran on a school bus Nov. 22.

"I think my kid was right to fight back," Lynch toldThe Globe. "He wasn’t doing anything except protecting himself."

Lynch describes the alleged incident further to Boston’s WBZ.

"He just all of a sudden came up to him, choked him," Lynch said of the November 22 incident. "He wanted to take his gloves, and my son said, ‘I couldn’t breathe, so I kicked him in the testicles."

Full story at Huffington Post