Psychological Abuse

News Brief
Most often when we think of abuse on young children we think about sexual or physical abuse. We do take psychological abuse as serious. This is often because we cannot prove the verbal abuse is causing immediate harm to the child or the severity is enough to make a report. In the article, “Child’s psychological mistreatment may be subtle but harmful: study “ by Melissa Healy for the Las Angeles Times on July 30th 2012, she discusses a report that was done that describes some of the negative effects from psychological abuse. This can include verbal abuse, loss of patience, refusing to interact with the child, and allowing them to be in a dangerous environment without concern for the child’s wellbeing. Pediatricians should be aware of how the child feels about their home life and ask them if they feel loved. This can help determine if appropriate care is being received at home. Pediatricians should also take extra precautions when they know drug abuse or depression may be a factor for the parents or caregivers. Psychological abuse can cause a child to have attachment issues, antisocial behaviors, relationship problems, and a negative outlook on life. The problem that people face with this issue is to determine it the problem is actually psychological abuse or a case of bad parenting. As caregivers we can try to assist with the problem by recommending possible parenting classes. Some parents may not realize the negative affect that this type of abuse can have on a child. Most often the behavior is one that is learned. I often see parents follow the same pattern that they were taught by their parents. One of the ideas that the reporter discussed was that if a pediatrician suspected abuse then they should make sure that the family underwent evaluation to determine if intervention is needed. That is why prevention should be the key to changing the cycle of abuse. We need to provide parents with the opportunity to learn about the negative affects so that they are aware of the harm that can be done to their child.

Misty Bibancos


4 thoughts on “Psychological Abuse

  1. kmr815 says:

    Psychological abuse is more common than many people think. It is hard to prove that it is happening but that does not mean it doesn’t take place. I agree that this happens many times because parents are uneducated about the affects of verbal abuse, loss of patience, refusing to interact, and allowing child to be in a dangerous environment. This also happens as a result of learned behavior. Some parents were treated in this manner as children so they treat their child the same. I believe that this is a major factor for children developing poor mental health which can lead to challenges in all aspects of life.

  2. I like how you mentioned the importance of parent education classes and how this can be used as a prevention key to help parents develop healthy and effective ways of communicating/interacting with their children. This makes me think back to stories my dad told me about how he was raised as a young child. He shared with me that my grandpa’s way of disciplining him was often through neglect and humiliation. I think this really affected the way my dad would in turn discipline my sisters and I whenever we got into trouble. Through taking CD classes, I have learned that the ways we were disciplined might not have been the most effective methods and I can never see myself doing this to my children if I ever have kids…but this shift in opinions occurred only because I have been fortunate enough to find this major and have the knowledge that I do now. So yes, I wholeheartedly agree that parents should be informed by their children’s teachers or care providers on the effective techniques to communication/discipline. As adults, we need to really understand the enormous impact we can have on a child just simple from our subtle and small actions.

  3. shemickab says:

    Thanks for posting this. Its so interesting because we don;t think about psychological abuse. Many of us don’t realize that there are parents out there who mentally abuse their children telling them they aren’t going to make it in the world or they aren’t doing they best they can and kids who go through these go through it everyday. As an adult it is really hard to sit their and listen to adults talk down on other adults but to know that parents do this to their children is horrible. As people we don’t ask to be born it just happens. I don’t understand how people can be so cruel and negative not only to adults but to children. What can the child do to make things better with them if they don’t even understand what they are doing.

  4. Ruth Kronk says:

    I think that psychological abuse is a big problem because many parents do not realize that talking down to their kid can be harmful. Some people can be very sarcastic and enjoy teasing and poking fun at people to get a fun reaction out of them, and they will do this to their children without thinking that it might actually be harming them psychologically. There are some people and children that can take teasing and not suffer any type of abuse but not all children are like that. Its very important to educate parents on what is playful teasing and what is psychological abuse. I think its a very line between the two, so, and you should be careful on what you tell a child even if you are saying it in the fun of just teasing them.

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