Neglect is the constant and / or repeated failure to act in a caring manner by parents or persons with custody. It comes u. a. to a lack of nutrition, personal hygiene, health care, supervision and care, emotional (loving) care and intellectual and psychosocial support. Often it also happens that someone is forgotten or withheld help.
Babies, children, the sick, the handicapped (especially the mentally handicapped), the poor, the elderly, lonely, helpless and people in homes or hospitals are often affected by this . As a rule, a distinction is made between two forms of neglect - physical and psychological.
This is understood to mean the inadequate or lack of care for a person, for example when a patient is not treated or when someone is left lying in the dirt. The wrong allocation and use of medication in hospitals can also be described as inadequate care. Sick and old people are often affected, especially patients in hospitals, old people's and nursing homes. Physical neglect can have serious consequences, such as failure to recognize diseases, bed sores (pressure ulcers ), malnutrition , malnutrition and infections . In extreme cases, physical neglect can lead to death.
Psychological neglect (also emotional neglect) is the loveless and impersonal care of a person, for example yelling, intimidating, insulting , disregarding or scapegoating children. Children, the sick, patients in nursing homes, the disabled and the elderly in old people's homes are particularly affected.
The consequences of psychological neglect can only be seen at second glance. In children there are sometimes developmental delays and undesirable developments (for example an adjustment disorder , a stress disorder or an attachment disorder ). For example, adult patients in hospitals or old people's homes suffer from depression or they regress (skills acquired are lost again). Emotional neglect and persistent disregard can lead to psychological deprivation , hospitalism, and non-organic growth disorders . In children, it regularly leads to impairment of emotional intelligence through damage to basic trust .
Neglect and violence
Another problem is physical violence against the elderly and the sick in old people's and nursing homes and the use of custodial measures in homes. It is estimated that around 10,000 people die each year in old people's and nursing homes in Germany from neglect. Often there are too few educators and carers in the homes, they are overburdened and have little time for the patients. People in care professions are often "burned out" and exhausted after a few months and quit their job. For these reasons, home residents are often beaten, tied up, not washed or fed, or sedated with medication.
Prevention and countermeasures
In the meantime there are first approaches to better care for the chronically ill, the disabled and the elderly. In many intensive care units, skin contact between mother and baby is now allowed in order to avoid serious consequences for the child. For example, there is assisted living for disabled people . The hospice movement mainly cares for terminally ill people. The integrative life model of Geel (Belgium) has found further imitators in Germany, France and Switzerland.
The physical and / or psychological neglect of children and young people is also called neglect ( Paragraph 3 of the Basic Law ). The child and youth services (as part of the state order), pursuant to SGB VIII for child protection to be ensured.
In some countries there are explicit laws on the basis of which parents and legal guardians can be punished if children are left unsupervised, e.g. For example, leave them at home or allow children to move around the neighborhood unsupervised. An example is the US state of Illinois , where children under the age of 14 cannot be left unattended for "unreasonably long". In Silver Spring , Maryland, in 2014 and 2015, a couple was investigated on suspicion of child neglect in allowing their 10- and 6-year-old children to play unsupervised in the neighboring city park.
- Child Neglect - An Underestimated Risk? from the German Youth Institute on May 8, 2010.
- Neglect of children. Spectrum of Science - Lexicon of Psychology ( archive ).
- Beate Galm, Sabine Herzig: Child neglect and abuse. Description of the problem and information on risk assessment. In: The Kita-Handbuch . by Martin R. Textor and Antje Bostelmann (eds.), 2008.
- Child neglect: recognize - assess - act. Deutscher Kinderschutzbund Landesverband Nordrhein-Westfalen eV, 6th edition 2012 ( archive ).
- Anne Kratzer: Pedagogy: Education for the leader. - In order to raise a generation of followers and soldiers, the Nazi regime demanded that mothers deliberately ignore the needs of their small children. The consequences of this upbringing continue to have an impact today, say attachment researchers. Spectrum of Science , January 17, 2019. “ By the end of the war, advertised by Nazi propaganda, it had a circulation of 690,000. But even after the war - cleared of the roughest Nazi jargon - it was bought again by almost as many Germans until 1987: in the end a total of 1.2 million times. ”This made it one of the best-selling educational guides and official teaching material during the Nazi era and then until the 1970s.
- Norbert Kühne : Early Development and Upbringing - The Critical Period. In: Teaching Materials Pedagogy - Psychology. No. 694, Stark Verlag, Hallbergmoos, 2012
- Dt. Ges. F. Child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy etc. a. (Ed.): Guidelines for the diagnosis and therapy of mental disorders in infants, children and adolescents. Deutscher Ärzte Verlag, 3rd revised edition 2007 - ISBN 978-3-7691-0492-9 , pp. 423-435
- Daniel Goleman: Emotional Intelligence . Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. 1st edition. Bantam, New York 1995, ISBN 0-553-09503-X . , Pp. 193-195
- Illinois Compiled Statutes: Juvenile Court Act, 705 ILCS 405 / 2-3 (1) (d). Retrieved December 2, 2015 ( archive ).
- Donna St. George: Parents investigated for neglect after letting kids walk home alone. The Washington Post , January 14, 2015. Retrieved December 2, 2015. The ( archive ).
- Kelly Wallace: Maryland family under investigation again for letting kids play in park alone. CNN , April 24, 2015 ( archive ).