Lesson 1 - Behavioral Indicators

With regard to behavioral indicators, keep in mind that children react differently to being abused, and many abused children do not exhibit behavioral symptoms. The presence of any of the following indicators does not prove that a child is being abused, but should serve as a warning signal to look further.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression, self-mutilation, suicidal gestures/attempts
  • Low self-esteem
  • Social maladjustment: Delinquent behavior (such as running away from home), use of alcohol or other drugs, academic/behavioral problems in school, poor peer relationships
  • Other significant behavioral changes

  • Wariness of adults
  • Discomfort when other children cry
  • Fear of parents or of going home.
  • Wearing clothing inappropriate for the weather (though be aware that this may be a cultural issue as well)

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