Emotional Abuse in Children

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Emotional Abuse in Children

The subject matter of this paper will discuss what emotional abuse is, how it affects the child, signs and symptoms plus the federal and state laws and regulations in effect. 2
In today’s society child abuse is becoming a growing epidemic. Although there are various types of child abuse, the focus of this paper will be on emotional abuse in children. According to the Mental Health Journal emotional child abuse is defined as, “acts or omissions by the parents or other caregivers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders” (C.J. Newton, 2001). Although there are many preconceptions as to what emotional abuse is, it can come in many forms. It is categorized into the following categories; belittling, coldness, corrupting, cruelty, extreme inconsistency, harassment, ignoring, isolating, rejecting and terrorizing (C.J. Newton, 2001). No matter the type of abuse the child receives, emotional abuse is commonly involved in one way shape or form; and it is the core of all forms of abuse (C.J. Newton, 2001). Emotional abuse can happen to a child of any age or gender, and may be inflicted by anyone.

The signs and symptoms of emotional abuse are harder to detect than other forms of child abuse. There are behavioral signs that a child will present when being emotionally abused, for example, the child may become extremely withdrawn, fearful, afraid, shy and have an extreme behavioral change (Saisan, Jaffe-Gill and Segal, 2008). It may also become to the point where the abused child feels that they should be the caregiver of other children and/or show extreme behavioral changes; they may be 12 but revert to the age mentality and maturity level of an 8 year old child (Saisan, Jaffe-Gill and Segal, 2008). When a child is emotionally abused, or psychologically maltreated, the child often feels worthless, unloved, unwanted and endangered (Goldman, Wolcott, Kennedy, 2003). Some of the more...
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