Advertisement

What are the signs that a parent is emotionally abusing his or her child?

A child who is being emotionally abused might be excessively compliant and passive or overly aggressive. The child may show delays in physical or emotional development. A suicide attempt in older children should be considered a sign of possible emotional abuse. Parents might belittle the child, seem unconcerned or simply reject the child.
Signs that a parent is emotionally abusing his or her child include the following:
  • routinely ignores, criticizes, yells at or blames child
  • plays favorites with one sibling over another
  • poor anger management or emotional self-regulation
  • stormy relationships with other adults, disrespect for authority
  • history of violence or abuse
  • untreated mental illness, alcoholism or substance abuse

Continue Learning about Child Abuse

Hidden Signs of Child Abuse
Hidden Signs of Child Abuse
Every year, there are around 700,000 confirmed cases of child abuse in the United States. Three-quarters of these children that experienced abuse also...
Read More
How the Impact of Child Abuse Extends Into Adulthood
How the Impact of Child Abuse Extends Into Adulthood
Adults who have experienced early childhood abuse or neglect often find that the mental and physical consequences of this trauma persist well into adu...
Read More
What are the signs of child neglect?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Children who are being neglected may show typical signs of abuse, such as changes in behavior, learn...
More Answers
Which children are most vulnerable to abuse?
ChildhelpChildhelp
There is no way to know which children are most vulnerable to abuse, but there are some factors for ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.