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Study for Lifespan Development. Child Abuse - Research Proposal Example

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Instances and intensity of child molestation have seen a radical increase in the recent years, especially faced by girls during early ages, with statistics ranging from 7 to 45% of females (Siegal et al., 1987).
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Study Proposal for Lifespan Development. Child Abuse
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Study Proposal for Lifespan Development Child Abuse Introduction Instances and intensity of child molestation have seen a radical increase in the recent years, especially faced by girls during early ages, with statistics ranging from 7 to 45% of females (Siegal et al., 1987). This is turn leaves permanent adverse footprint on minds of young children which are reflected in beliefs and actions exhibited by such people over their entire life cycle. Due to high frequency of occurrences and the significance of impact created by child abuse over lifespan development of victims, it is essential to conduct a research study focusing on this hypothesis and an experiment to identify interdependence between said variables. Study design This hypothesis can be tested by using the twin-study method and analysing relationship between biological twins who might have suffered from child abuse (Dinwiddie et al., 2000). This study will involve a comparative analysis between children who demonstrate presence of abusive experiences and other non-victimized children. The experiment will examine personal attributes owned by targets of child abuse. It shall be vital to clarify with sampled children that child abuse may or may not involve physical force and coercion. The intensity of abuse shall also be studied to evaluate how different behavioral symptoms, shown during the subsequent period of life cycle, are directly related to unfortunate events that occurred during early childhood. A contrast shall be designed, based on lifespan development sciences, between twins who claim to have gone through child abuse and other children who have no relevant history. Moreover, detailed assessment shall be carried out within members of same-sex twin pairs suffering from sexually abusive experiences. This study is intended to reveal incidence of psychological disorders over the lifespan of those twins who might have suffered sexual abuse in early childhood. This research is vital, not only because it destroys human lives, but also it acts as a platform for measuring effects of adverse childhood events on the entire lifespan of an individual. The methodology used also contributes to the fruitfulness of this study as it acknowledges the environmental and cultural background and values to play as pivotal role as played by genetics in developing such mindset which appeals to abuse a child. Methodology A population of 40 twins of various ages shall be selected for the experiment and they shall be interviewed to establish an understanding of their lifespan development in subsequent years, alongwith adverse childhood history milestones. Questionnaires might not be effective since this research requires open-ended questions that demand narrative answers to clearly reveal the whole picture. On the other hand, interviews shall be conducted on telephone rather than face-to-face to avoid creating uncomfortable atmosphere for the respondents who might hesitate and conceal some bits of information out of embarrassment. Interviewers shall be people who are highly trained in inquiring techniques and have good command on frameworks such as SSAGA, which shall be adapted to design telephonic interview formats. This methodology focuses on obtaining information pertaining to childhood history, symptoms of mental disorders and sufferings such as depression, social isolation and anxiety attacks throughout the entire life cycle (Bucholz et al. 1994). A disorder or symptom reported by either of the twin shall be accounted for and recorded for each pair. Emphasis must be placed on acquiring information relating to frequency of suicidal attempts, if any, especially in adolescent years of the sampled population. Since abuse might be of different categories, thus it is crucial to know how different individuals went through various types of abuses, including sexual intercourse and penetration. Data collected shall be analysed by using various analytical tools that enable us to establish a connection between mental disorders, behavioral symptoms and negativity displayed by such individuals during their lifespan, and the existence of sexually abusive episodes that occurred during early childhood days. Conduct exhibiting violence, aggression and sadism, including suicidal attempts, must be highlighted and linked with events of corresponding sexual assaults and abuses. Time frame This experiment shall run through a maximum period of two months. Initially, sample selection and design of questionnaire shall take a week while distribution of questionnaires to respondents might be a time-consuming exercise due to dispersed locations. However, due to time constraints, it must be ensured that respondents are not geographically distributed across a wide area. Another week shall be set aside for following up and sending reminder notices to all such participants who have not responded adequately or responded at all. Experiment shall begin with the telephonic survey and 30 minutes shall be reserved per respondent, taking upto 2-4 days to complete. The arrangement, compilation and post-collection analysis of findings shall take 5-10 days. Analytical tools shall be used and final conclusions shall be reached by the end of the second month from initiation of the experiment. Conclusion In medical and scientific terms, sexual abuse can become source of devastating mental and physical diseases and ultimately lead to suicide. In social terms, it has other dreadful effects including isolation, embarrassment, subjective biases, negativity towards everyone and lack of self-confidence. However, we only link cause and effect relationship with child molestation and ignore other factors such as familial effects, ethical stances and personal vulnerabilities of individuals that might be also adding up to all behavioral symptoms demonstrated by them. References Bucholz, K. K., Cadoret, R., Cloninger, C. R., Dinwiddie, S. H., Hesselbrock, V. M., Nurnberger, J. I., Reich, T., Schmidt, I. & Schuckit, M. A. (1994). A new, semi-structured psychiatric interview for use in genetic linkage studies: a report on the reliability of the SSAGA. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 55, 149-158. Dinwiddie, S., Heath, A. C., Dunne, M. P., Bucholz, K. K., Madden, P. A., Slutske, W. S. & Martin, N. G. (2000). Early sexual abuse and lifetime psychopathology: a co-twin-control study. Psychological medicine, 30(1), 41-52. Siegel, J. M., Sorenson, S. B., Golding, J. M., Burnham, M. A. & Stein, J. A. (1987). The prevalence of childhood sexual assault. The Los Angeles Epidemiologic Catchment Area project, American Journal of Epidemiology 126, 1141-1153. Read More
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