Exposure to violent home and community environments, as well as injury due to violence, contribute to both reduced academic progress and increased disruptive or being unfocused in the classroom, adolescents, and teenagers. It is estimated that between 10 to 20% of children in the United States are exposed to domestic violence annually. Children from dysfunctional families are less likely to function successfully at school. Youth exposure to violence may compromise healthy social relationships and academic potential. Traumatized children often lack in their ability to maintain friendships. Children exposed to violent home and community environments may be more likely to imitate, and transfer learned behaviors to the classroom setting. Children often imitate modeled behavior in social environments, specifically during peer interaction. For example, teachers may observe the power of imitation in the classroom setting as a student demonstrates inappropriate behavior and other students, for a variety of reasons, may imitate the undesired behavior. The process of imitation and socialization become pertinent to the identification process as students socialize more with like-minded peers. The effect of exposure to violence on children is prevalent in the classroom setting. Children utilize healthy coping and problem solving skills training interventions to shield against threatening and harmful situations. A positive association may exist between imitation and bullying for children who experience violence. Youth who are victims or witnesses of bullying within their household or neighborhood are more likely to associate bullying as a preferred or acceptable style of communication. Students who bully their peers have increased expectations of negative outcomes. For example, a student with an increased desire to fight physically is more likely to expect the targeted student to reciprocate aggressive interactions. In addition, a student who faces daily physical negative interactions outside of the learning environment may be more likely to consider physical aggression as normative. Thus, there is an increased need for school personnel to address the process of healthy imitation in young victims of abuse as the higher the likelihood of witnessing violence, the higher the risk of academic decline and problematic relationships.

One misconception that many alcoholics seem to have is that their drinking is not affecting anyone else. But their behavior does often affect others, and children of alcoholics tend to be the most vulnerable. In fact, the effects of alcoholism on children are sometimes so profound that they last a lifetime. There are 18 million alcoholics in the U.S. according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. As a result, an estimated 26.8 million children are exposed, at varying degrees, to alcoholism in the family. These children are at higher risk for alcoholism and other drug abuse than are children of non-alcoholics, and are more likely to marry an alcoholic as well. Children of alcoholics or addicts are commonly referred to as “COA.” Children of alcoholics may experience any of the following: chaos, uncertainty, instability, inconsistent discipline, emotional and physical neglect, arguments, instability of parents’ marriage, disorganization, violence and/or physical and sexual abuse, emptiness, loneliness, the terror of repeated abandonment, or the witnessing of violence or abuse to others. The family environment may be characterized by tension, fear, and shame–feelings that become connected with the child’s sense of self. It is often difficult to determine whether the problems a child is having are directly linked to parental alcoholism, separate, or a combination. The chances that these youth will become alcohol-dependent are far greater than peers without alcoholic parents. Plus, there is a strong correlation between genetic traits and the development of alcoholism. Statistics tell us that approximately 25 percent of children of alcoholics also become dependent on alcohol in their lifetime. Not only are their chances of alcoholism greater, but they are also at an increased risk of abuse and neglect, and getting into a romantic relationship with an addict later in life.

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Death in the family affects everyone. Children, in particular, need to be thought about even if it is a difficult time for the whole family.How they react depends on a number of factors. How close the person who died was to the child, and the family, is important and how involved that person was in their lives. Whether the death was sudden or expected (a relief from suffering or a ‘crushing blow’). How traumatic the death was can also affect how they cope with it. The circumstances of the death also affect the impact on the child. Each family responds in its own way to death. Religion and culture will have an important influence on what happens. Other factors that can make a big difference from the child’s point of view are: the effect of grief on other family members, especially if they are not able to cope with giving the child the care they need and how much practical support is available to help the family cope. Behavioral problems are common following the loss of a parent or other caretaker. One study found that 40% of bereaved children had behavioral disturbances in the clinical range compared to 10% for those with intact families. These behavioral problems often persist for quite some time after the death. Children may have a harder time enjoying things they had before the loss such as life, work, friendship and love. The death of a parent or other important loved one often has profound implications on a child’s social development. Children who experience the early death of a parent tend to have difficulty with intimate relationships and social functioning. This can carryover well into adulthood. Research indicates that experiencing the death of a parent in childhood significantly added to the incidence of loneliness and social isolation years later.

In conclusion, every type of issue that happens in a family will always affect the children in some type of way. No matter how it is dealt with, it will always impact the kids.