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The neglected and isolated child has resulted in an underdevelopment in stimulation and interaction, which has resulted in a reduced corpus callosum consisting of white matter; controlling the regulation of communication between the brain (Teicher, Dumont, Ito, Vaituzis, Giedd, & Andersen, 2004). This has also adversely affected the limbic system, significantly the prefrontal cortex which includes emotional regulation, abstract thinking, working memory, and deregulation of dopamine (Glaser,2000).
These effects have resulted in the child having deficits in social interaction with others, low intelligence, behaviour problems of externalising aggression, negative representations of self and others (Hildyard & Wolfe, 2002), and high levels of dopamine affecting impulsivity and low levels of serotonin (Glaser, 2000)
The child was constantly changing schools/ locations which created instability. The effects of neglect had on the child and the lack of support resulted in the child’s adjustment from primary to secondary school as difficult and unsuccessful (Stewart, Livingston, & Dennison, 2008). His social withdrawal, low academic performance and behaviour problems along with his neglectful mother and lack of supervision lead him to run away and live off the streets (Hildyard & Wolfe, 2002).
Due to his social deficits he became anti social. He was not able to get a job due to the lack of academic skills, lack of interactive skills and negative mindset of himself/ the world around him, resulted in his poverty (Hildyard & Wolfe, 2002). Being poor gave him opportunities and vulnerabilities to commit robberies for money, goods and survival (Cashmore, 2011).
When the child was on the streets he was vulnerable and exposed to being involved in crime and risky situations/behaviours (Cashmore, 2011). The child is unable to control impulses and urges of emotional responses and inhibitory behaviour due to frontal cortex dysfunctions. The child also has behaviour problems of externalising aggression (Glaser, 2000). These factors contributed and lead to the child committing violent offences; and ending up in juvenile prison (Cashmore, 2011).
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