Moral development is a crucial part of child development since it provides the ground for a child to learn the ethical rules or proper behavior and attitude towards other people through social interaction. Their learning environment significantly influences the opportunity for children to learn and develop appropriate ideas on morality. This is because children develop moral codes based on their perceptions of the world and their life context.
This actively demonstrates that appropriate morality is significantly shaped by positive social interactions, proper brain development, and personal experiences within their environment. Moreover, child emotional neglect is one of the significant factors that confound the moral development trajectory. This review thus focused on identifying the effects of childhood emotional neglect on moral development.
The research paper was based on the review of three articles: “The impact of child emotional abuse on moral development”, “Effects of maltreatment on child morality development”, and “Child neglect: Developmental issues and outcomes”. The effects of childhood emotional neglect on moral development identified within the reviewed articles included; causes brain development issues like the cerebral cortex underdevelopment that leads to problems with self-esteem and ability to feel empathy and causes changes in a child’s hormones and brain. Lastly, child emotional neglect causes irresponsible decision-making and behavioral difficulties that significantly impact morality development. These effects evoke early intervention and responsiveness by parents and caregivers to emotional needs to avoid long-term effects on child morals.
Moral development is a vital part of child development as it lays a foundation for a child to learn the ethical rules or proper behavior and attitude towards other people through social interaction. It moreover shapes a child’s moral standards in the future hence preventing them from engaging in wrongdoing that could significantly harm others in the society. As children grow, their thinking also evolves as they slowly learn about their personal needs and the social norms in their environment (Dahl & Killen, 2018).
Consequently, children begin to develop specific moral codes centered on their perceptions of the world and their life context. Different contexts have a different impact on forming the moral code as some may help develop healthy ethical principles while others impend the formation. For instance, theorists Piaget and Kohlberghe described the various factors that alter child morale, ranging from positive social interactions and proper brain development to personal experiences within their environment (Merrick & Guinn, 2018).
Child emotional neglect is one of the significant factors that confound the moral development trajectory of a child. This entails showing a lack of responsiveness to a child’s emotional needs that could range from allowing excessive independence to a child’s emotional needs and development to unintentional emotional unresponsive. Children who have experienced neglect face various mental, emotional, and physical effects that immensely impact their development (Stogsdill, 2019).
Moreover, children exhibit exceptional skills to learn ideas and behaviors from persons within their environment, thus evoking many misleading statements of right and wrong in case of a lack of appropriate emotional support. Childhood is an important time for a child’s brain to learn and form ideas about their environment. However, a lack of responsiveness to their emotional needs leads to adopting the wrong moral standards. This study will identify the various effects of childhood emotional neglect on moral development by reviewing several morality development articles.
The article describes emotional abuse as an aspect that significantly impacts a child’s ability to understand and form morality standards regardless of its hidden visibility. It addresses child emotional abuse symptoms such as self-isolation, anxiety, depression, substance misuse, aggressiveness, and apathy. The article further explores emotional abuse and moral development by examining corruption as one of the major causes of emotional abuse. Corruption is viewed as a cause of destructive behavior and adoption of inappropriate social interaction standards due to the negative morals instilled in a child by adults.
The study is moreover in support of the negative impact of child emotional abuse. It identifies child abuse as a cause of brain development issues like the child’s cerebral cortex under development, leading to self-esteem and empathy. This impact is described by comparing children who experience emotional abuse. Those who have experienced it tend to lack an understanding of others’ intentions for their actions and have disordered moral reasoning on what is right and wrong.
The article highlights child emotional neglect as a form of maltreatment that significantly impacts morality development. It describes childhood as a vulnerable stage for children to acquire cognitive and emotional regulation abilities. Neglect is a disruptive aspect of brain development through the dysregulation of the neural system that results in neurocognitive deficits. The article describes moral development as a child’s ability to develop moral emotions, reasoning, and behavior. It illustrates neglect through empathy as one the examples of honest emotion. Empathy defines the ability of a child to understand the feelings of another person.
It analyzes the impacts of parents’ responsiveness to children’s emotional needs through empathy by highlighting that moral understanding and reasoning play a significant role in a child’s ability to judge what is wrong or right. According to the analysis, parents are a vital contributor to moral development since children learn and interpret the social clues from their parents. Parents who are less responsive to their child’s emotional needs instill a sense of apathy and inappropriate morality traits like aggressiveness and avoidance. Comparable, a child with no emotional neglect is empathetic, friendly, and has social engagement. The article essentially describes a child’s ability to understand and judge what is deemed appropriate and fair to others as a vital internal code generated through emotional support during child development.
The article describes child neglect as major maltreatment that has significant impacts on a child’s development. It acknowledges that child emotional neglect has severe effects on how children perceive morality standards. Further, the article highlights the effects of emotional neglect as emotional and behavioral difficulties that significantly impact morality development. Moreover, children who experience emotional neglect have severe social withdrawal, minimal peer interaction, and often internalize problems caused by disordered morality ideas sourced from childhood emotional neglect.
The article also recognizes the impact of allowing excessive independence to a child’s emotional needs and development, resulting in a child adopting moral standards wrongly intuited from parents or caregivers’ emotional neglect. Emotional neglect can result in changes in a child’s hormones and brain, leading to irresponsible decision-making without critically analyzing ideas. For example, when parents are unresponsive to a child’s feelings about something she/he dislikes may result in a child adopting moral standards that his /her feelings do not matter to others. The article essentially describes child emotional neglect as a factor that fosters negative moral development with severely disordered ethical standards and detrimental moral perceptions.
The opportunity for children to learn and develop appropriate ideas on morality is significantly influenced by their learning environment. Children develop moral codes based on their perceptions about the world and their life context. Thus, the need for parents and caregivers to instill a positive life context will set the correct moral standards in the future. Based on the reviewed articles, child emotional neglect is a significant factor that confounds the moral development trajectory (Entringer et al, 2020). The reports further view emotional abuse as part of emotional neglect.
First, child emotional neglect causes brain development issues like the cerebral cortex under development, leading to self-esteem issues and the ability to feel empathy. This actively demonstrates that a lack of child emotional support from parents and caregivers sets a disordered morality standard for the child due to acknowledging their emotions during development (Kimber et al., 2017). Also, emotional neglect causes changes in a child’s hormones and brain, leading to irresponsible decisions making without critically analyzing ideas.
This implies that emotional neglect has detrimental moral perceptions that impact morale. Next, emotional neglect causes emotional and behavioral difficulties that result in a significant impact on morality development. The effects of childhood emotional neglect on moral development signify the need for early intervention and responsiveness by parents and caregivers to emotional needs to avoid long-term effects on child morals.
Dahl, A., & Killen, M. (2018). Moral reasoning: Theory and research in developmental science. Stevens’ Handbook of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, 4, 1-31. Web.
Merrick, M. T., & Guinn, A. S. (2018). Child abuse and neglect: Breaking the intergenerational link. Web.
Kimber, M., McTavish, J. R., Couturier, J., Boven, A., Gill, S., Dimitropoulos, G., & MacMillan, H. L. (2017). Consequences of child emotional abuse, emotional neglect and exposure to intimate partner violence for eating disorders: A systematic critical review. BMC psychology, 5(1), 1-18.
Entringer, S., de Punder, K., Overfeld, J., Karaboycheva, G., Dittrich, K., Buss, C.,… & Heim, C. (2020). Immediate and longitudinal effects of maltreatment on systemic inflammation in young children. Development and Psychopathology, 32(5), 1725-1731. Web.
Stogsdill, S. (2019). The Impact of Child Abuse on Moral Development. Social Development, 13(1), 87-106