For 6-year-old Jocelyn, the daughter of Cleveland captive Amanda Berry, the Castro house in which she was raised was her "normal." Based on information pieced together by law enforcement, she knew nothing else.
That, experts say, is the key to understanding the psychological effects on Jocelyn and the kind of help she will need going forward, as she adapts to life in the outside world and forms relationships with more than six people. Mother and daughter arrived home today, the beginning of a long journey of recovery.
"The harm comes into play when you take a child out of a situation that is normal and into a place that is abnormal," said Chuck Williams, a Drexel University youth counselor in Philadelphia with an expertise in foster care and trauma. "It causes all kinds of stress and trauma that affects the brain and how we think and feel and behavior."
On the other hand, Williams said, "if she was born into this certainly extreme normal, she is not so horrified as we are."
The girl was born in a small inflatable swimming pool during Berry's captivity, Cleveland City Councilman Brian Cummins told ABC News today. The identity of her father has not yet been revealed.
Berry went missing at age 16 in 2003 while on her way home from a job at Burger King. Police are hailing her as a hero this week because she was able to cry out for help. Police rescued the mother and daughter, as well as two other women who were abducted a decade ago: Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michele Knight, 32.
All the women vanished in separate incidents near their homes and were alleged held captive in a home owned by 52-year-old former school bus driver Ariel Castro.
Police Monday arrested Castro and his two brothers, Pedro Castro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50. They have yet to be charged.
In a phone call this week between Berry and her grandmother as ABC News affiliate WESW-TV reporters watched, Fern Gentry asked Berry, "Is the little girl your baby?"
"Yeah, she's my daughter, she was born on Christmas," her granddaughter answered.
The children of kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard, now 33, might serve as clues for how Jocelyn will fare. Dugard spent 18 years as a prisoner of Phillip and Nancy Garrido, who kidnapped her in 1991 at the age of 11. She was subjected to rape, manipulation and verbal abuse and gave birth to two children in the backyard.
In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer last year, Dugard refused to deny Garrido his status as "dad" to her two daughters, Starlite, 16 and Angel, 13.
"Their dad did strange things and they knew it," Dugard said. "They lived like that for so long that I don't really think that that was that big of a shock to them. Because they knew their dad."
She said of Garrido, who with his wife is serving combined sentences of 431 years in prison, "He is who he is."
The Garridos have had no contact with the children since their arrest.
Sources have told ABC News that Berry's alleged captor, Ariel Castro, was a violent man, "a monster." He was "nice when he was outside but behind closed doors he was an animal," they said.
In an emotional interview with ABC News, Maria Castro Montes, a cousin of the Castro brothers, said the family was overwhelmed with "heartache" from the alleged kidnapping. "I'm a mother, I have a daughter, I can't even begin to imagine ..."
When she learned from reporters that Jocelyn is probably the daughter of one of the Castro brothers, she said, "Of course she's a part of our family. What my cousin did was horrible, but this child obviously has no fault in any of this."
"Obviously, this little girl, she will be accepted as a part of this family if that's what they choose to do," she noted. "She may not want any part of the Castros, but I should hope as part of their healing process, they reach out to us so they can see what an amazing family we are."
Police have now released more information about the environment in the home where Amanda Berry's daughter grew up. Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said today that chains and ropes were recovered from the home on Seymour Avenue, but did not say how they were used.
Psychologist Williams said the adjustment of children born in this environment would be "complicated."
He compared the potential scenario to a home where there is physical or verbal abuse. In such cases, children often find ways of coping.
"The mind is amazing," Williams said. "When a child is young, the mind has a way of developing protective factors that mediate and mitigate the harmful psychological effects. And then you add to that resilience. The mind can protect children from harm and damage."
Working in the field of foster care as a Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow, he said, "we have examples of children who have been through worse situations than this 6-year-old girl."
Williams said some children survive with counseling because of their innate resilience. Other children are not so lucky.
"Some are more susceptible and overwhelmed by the experience and have PTSD [post-traumatic stress syndrome]," Williams said.
They might go on to have drug and alcohol addictions, early pregnancies, drop out of school or engage in promiscuous behaviors, "wandering through life languishing," he said.
Abused children can also develop symptoms of depression and are more likely to act out sexually. Boys can act out physically, "repeating the cycle," he said. Children can blame themselves for causing the trauma. "They internalize and think it's their fault," he said.
But Williams cautions that all abused children do not inevitably have a "downward spiral."
As for the Cleveland women and Berry's daughter, he said, "they will face a lot of challenges."
Additional reporting by ABC News' Russell Goldman, Alex Perez and Matt Jaffe.