Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Kelly Sadlovsky

Second Reader

Professor Elisabeth Amirahmadi


: early childhood education (ECE), child maltreatment, social emotional, development, healing


Research examined in this paper found that children under the age of five years old who are victims of child maltreatment, can display hindered development in social emotional behavioral domains. Being that the brain develops so rapidly and is fragile during this age, there is a plethora of developmental, mental struggles, personal struggles, and complications that children can face during the remaining years of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood as a result (Campbell, Walker, & Egede, 2016; Kahr Nilsson, Landorph, Houmann, Olsen & Skovgaard, 2019; & McKelvey, Edge, Mesman, Whiteside-Mansell & Bradley, 2018). Effects can range from short term to long term and include attachment struggles, taking initiative, self-help skills, sexual exploitation, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, suicide, and lack of socialization ability (Fusco and Cahalane, 2013; Srivastav, Strompolis, Moseley, & Daniels, 2019). Much of the research obtained on child maltreatment is based on parent and caregiver reports, interviews, and questionnaires, due to the fact that many children between the ages of birth to five are nonverbal or just beginning to develop vocabulary. When trauma is recognized, specific methods can be implemented to help children cope and begin to heal from past or current maltreatment. When children are placed in a safe, secure environment with loving, strong relationships, the negative impacts of maltreatment begin to be replaced with positive progress in social emotional abilities and result in better adult life outcomes (Bath, 2012; Srivastav, et al., 2019). In additional healing from child maltreatment, research conducted by Golding (2015) explained the benefits and successes for children through preventative care and early detection.

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