Recent study correlates child maltreatment with financial struggles

Learn more about how the current economy’s financial difficulties can negatively affect family dynamics, safety and well-being.

All families experience stress that can stem from daily demands such as child care needs or sibling squabbles to longer-term and more complex challenges related to health, jobs and finances. If parents and other caregivers don’t have healthy options for coping with stress – and especially when stress is overwhelming and chronic – it can take a toll on family relationships and well-being.

When families face severe economic challenges, the impacts on children’s safety and well-being can be harsh, as reflected in a recent study from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This study reported a trend of increases in child maltreatment and mortgage delinquency, foreclosure and unemployment – economic challenges that are faced by many Michigan residents. According to the Michigan Foreclosure Task Force, more than 280,000 homes have been foreclosed on within this state since 2009, and the total is expected to climb to about 327,000 by the end of 2012. To learn more about home foreclosure and the different facets of its effect on Michigan residents, refer to Michigan State University (MSU) Extension news articles including, “Foreclosure crisis continues to threaten Michigan.” 

If you, or those close to you, are experiencing these kinds of issues, looks for ways to support both your financial health and the health of your family:

  • Turn to trusted support
    An overwhelming moment can turn around by asking for help with errands, repairs, household tasks or baby-sitting. Beside the benefit of getting things done this will also allow you the opportunity to care for your needs.
  • Clear thoughts and gain perspective
    It may be helpful to journal, make lists, take a walk, listen to your favorite music and practice deep breathing – these are just some of the ways to settle harmful thought patterns. In order to respond to stress and financial pressures with our best selves, we need to build tools of self-awareness to our thoughts, state of mind and mood. Churned up internal thoughts tend to be rapid, closed, judgmental, insecure, problem-focused and narrow as opposed to thoughts that come from a place of internal balance and calmness.
  • Seek solutions – both big and small
    Finding viable solutions for everything from parenting dilemmas and struggles to difficult conversations with mortgage companies can assist you in turning circumstances around. Such resources within MSU Extension are financial materials, Nurturing Parenting classes and RELAX: Alternatives to Anger workshops.

Always keep in mind the importance of paying attention to situations where you suspect that child abuse may be taking place. If you suspect that child abuse is happening, contact the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) at 855-444-3911.

Learn more about these issues – including what suspicions you are mandated by law to report – at the

DHS Abuse and Neglect website.

Related Articles

Related Resources