- Physical Abuse
- Abusive Head Trauma
- Distinguishing Abuse from Accident
- Sexual Abuse
- Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
- Emotional Abuse
- Neglect of a Child
Emotional abuse is a pattern of behavior that can interfere with a child’s positive development. Infliction of mental or emotional harm or the causing of a deterioration of a child is part of emotional abuse and may include maltreatment or exploiting a child to the extent that the child’s health or emotional wellbeing is endangered.
Emotional abuse may be the least understood of all child abuse, but it is also the most prevalent and can be one of the most destructive types. This term may include any act, behavior, or omission that impairs or endangers a child’s social or intellectual functioning. This term may include the following:
Many parents or care takers may be guilty of having unkindly snubbed a child or criticizing the child too harshly. However, emotional abuse seriously impairs the child’s social, emotional or intellectual functioning. Emotional abuse is a consistent, chronic behavior by an adult that has a harmful effect on the child. It is important to remember that emotional abuse involves a pattern of attitudes or acts that are detrimental to the child’s development of a sound and healthy personality.
Although physical indicators are not typically prevalent in emotional abuse, there are many behavioral indicators that can be presented by the child and the adult abuser. The following are some common indicators that the child and adult may display. This is a list of common indicators and is not all inclusive, as there could be other indicators presented.
Consider the possibility of emotional abuse when the parent or other adult caregiver is:
Remember that maltreatment by a caregiver is not the cause of all behavioral, emotional, or developmental problems in children. It is important to ask these questions when considering whether or not emotional abuse is occurring:
Source: Kansas Department for Children and Families.