Impact on brain: Abuse can slow brain development

When children are exposed to certain negative experiences or abused, it can impact their brain development. Witnessing frequent parental fights and growing up with alcohol or drug abuse, mental illness, physical violence, or crime in the home can make the child have difficulty paying attention, controlling his or her behavior, trusting others, showing compassion, or making friends.

two brain scan images
The picture on the left shows a healthy, emotionally developed brain. The picture on the right shows the result of abuse and neglect. The dark areas show where the brain is inactive or undeveloped.

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Office of Children's Services | Alaska Children's Justice Task Force