Diane Benoit

18 maart 2021
Diane Benoit
The impact of violence, abuse and neglect on the brain and behavior of children : Links among attachment, maltreatment and trauma
Research findings show that starting early during the first year of life, children can be negatively affected by what they experience or witness. In this plenary lecture a review is provided of the impact of exposure to (domestic) violence, abuse and neglect on children’s behavior and emotional and brain development . A description is provided of specific brain structures that are directly and/or indirectly affected by this exposure and are responsible to a large extent for the emotional and behavioral symptoms affected children might display. The links among attachment, maltreatment and trauma are emphasized. Audio- and video-recordings are used to illustrate some of the concepts discussed. The critical role of ‘first responders’ (and other professionals who are in contact with children soon after they are exposed to violence, abuse and neglect) is briefly discussed, with a special emphasis on what to do (and not to do) to help reduce the negative impact of exposure to violence, abuse, and neglect. By the end of this keynote lecture, participants should be able to describe the impact (on brain, behavior and emotions – and later on parenting) of exposure to violence, abuse, and neglect on children of various ages and describe the critical role, in potentially reducing harm to the child, of first responders and other professionals who are in contact with affected children soon after they are exposed to violence, abuse and neglect.