What Is Emotional Child Abuse? - Definition & Statistics

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Physical Development in Middle Childhood

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:06 What Is Emotional Child Abuse?
  • 0:30 Aspects of Emotional…
  • 1:57 Statistics
  • 2:54 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Emotional child abuse may not be as commonly referred to as physical child abuse or sexual child abuse, but it is a real and unfortunate problem. This lesson defines it and goes over its characteristics and some statistics related to it.

What Is Emotional Child Abuse?

Emotional child abuse occurs when a child's caretaker exhibits a behavioral pattern that impairs a child's emotional development. This may also tie into problems with cognitive, psychological, and social development, since these topics are closely tied in many ways.

In this lesson, you're going to learn more about how emotional child abuse may occur and some statistics about it.

Aspects of Emotional Child Abuse

So what kind of patterns may a parent or other guardian exhibit that would impair a child's emotional development? Well, why don't we meet Mary? Mary is 12 years old and lives in an emotionally abusive home. Her parents have a long-standing pattern of traits and tendencies that are, in effect, emotional child abuse.

When Mary comes home from school, her parents ignore her. Meaning, they don't bother even looking at her or, if they do, do not call her by her name. When Mary cries out and desperately wants a hug from her parents, they reject her by not hugging back. What's worse, they verbally assault Mary when she wants a hug, calling her belittling names when she does so.

Because of this, Mary tries to seek out emotional support from other adults and friends, but her parents isolate Mary. Meaning, they constantly prevent Mary from seeing her friends and other family members. They don't even let her out of the house most days. And when she's stuck at home, she is terrorized by her parents. They create a climate of fear by telling her that if she doesn't follow their orders, they will kill her favorite pet hamster.

But the emotional abuse doesn't stop there. When Mary complains of feeling really sad, to the point where another adult may think Mary is suicidal, Mary's parents neglect her and do not get her the medical and psychological care she needs. It gets worse, they even corrupt and exploit her by encouraging Mary to do illegal things, like drugs and to pose for provocative photos for money.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support