Knowledge and Resource Hub
15 April 2019

Video: Overview of neglect

This video from Harvard University provides a brief overview of the latest scientific evidence on child neglect. Early exposure to neglect can disrupt healthy development and have lifelong consequences for physical and mental health. When adult responses to children are unreliable, inappropriate, or simply absent, developing brain circuits can be disrupted, affecting how children learn, solve problems, and relate to others. Although neglect is the most prevalent form of child maltreatment and actually produces more widespread developmental impairments than overt physical abuse, it receives less attention in policy and practice. The negative consequences of  neglect can be reversed or reduced through appropriate and timely interventions, however, merely removing a young child from an insufficiently responsive environment does not guarantee positive outcomes. Children who experience severe deprivation typically need therapeutic intervention and highly supportive care to mitigate the adverse effects of their experiences and to facilitate recovery.