Emotional or psychological child abuse is a pattern of behavior that impairs a child's emotional development or sense of self-worth. This may include constant criticism, threats, or rejection, as well as withholding love, support, or guidance. Use the following resources to understand and identify the signs, symptoms, and effects of child emotional abuse.
Child Abuse, Neglect, and Mental Injury (PDF - 546 KB)
Maryland State Department of Education (2015)
Provides physical and behavioral indicators that are associated with child abuse, neglect, and mental injury. This resource guide is written for child care facilities in the State of Maryland
Emotional Abuse Is Inadequately Defined and Measured
The Chronicle of Social Change (2015)
Outlines differences in the ways emotional child abuse is defined across States and explores how States can generate different data regarding rates of substantiated emotional child abuse.
Emotional Child Abuse
American Society for the Positive Care of Children (2018)
Describes the indicators and effects of emotional child abuse and offers free educational resources designed to address different types of child abuse.
Preventing Emotional Abuse
Preventing Child Abuse America (2019)
Focuses on research, training, and public education to strengthen protective factors for emotional child abuse while addressing risk factors.
What Is Psychological Abuse of a Child?
Provides information on psychological child abuse, including definitions of the various types of abuse and the symptoms a child may experience. Healthy Place further explains the verbal and behavioral patterns that children witness from parents, which may cause long-term psychiatric effects on children.