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Aug 10, 2022

The Physiological Risk Factor Associated With Becoming a Child Abuser

Child abuse has become an all too common theme in news headlines across the country. Today, we spoke with Doctor Annel Martinez, a trained psychiatrist, about the risk factors associated with someone becoming an abuser.  Martinez shared some of the primary factors which, among others, include a history of negative childhood experiences and poor parent-child relationships. Here is what Doctor  Martinez told us via Zoom.


Annel Martinez

Dr. Annel Martinez, Psychiatrist

“There are several risk factors for someone to become an abuser so to speak. One of the primary ones is that they were abused themselves as children. A very large percentage of them have a history of negative childhood experiences. We are looking at people‘s challenges with parent/child relationships. Maybe they had poor parent child relationship. The presence of substance use disorder is another important risk factor. A lot of psychoactive substance that are used could alter your judgment. They can also numb your impulses. So, you become very impulsive, irrational, and snappy and sometimes some of the emotional experiences are intensified, like your anger, your frustration, and before you can stop yourself you find that you are already acting out. So, having poor emotional regulation as an adult can lead to all of those problems. Suffering from mental illness of any sort, anxiety, depression, having personality disorder which tends to be dysfunctional, post traumatic stress disorder, acute stress, situations can also lead to these. Another thing would be, people’s emotional state, like how do you see yourself as a person, do you see yourself as competent, what is your self confidence?”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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