"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Report says verbal abuse needs to be considered child abuse

October 3, 2023 – A team of researchers from the USA and London recommends identifying verbal abuse as a separate type of child abuse and never classifying it under the label emotional abuse. The proposal comes amid recent reports that emotional abuse of youngsters is now more common than physical or sexual abuse.

Researchers from Wingate University in North Carolina and University College London analyzed data from 166 previous studies on child abuse. Their Results were featured within the magazine this month Child abuse and neglect.

For the study, child abuse was defined as “actions by an adult or other caregiver that harm a child or deny him or her necessary care.” The 4 currently recognized varieties of child abuse are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect, in line with the authors.

Although some studies have used other methods to measure verbal abuse in childhood, a typical method is to ask concerning the widely used method Quiz about unwanted childhood experiences It asks: “Before your 18th birthday, were you often or very often insulted, insulted, degraded or humiliated, or behaved in a way that made you fearful of being physically harmed, by a parent or other adult in the household?” “

“These types of adult actions can be as damaging to a child’s development as other currently recognized and forensically proven subtypes of maltreatment, such as childhood physical and sexual abuse,” the authors write. “Yet less attention is paid to childhood verbal abuse perpetrated by adults, either as a form of childhood emotional abuse or as a separate category of maltreatment.”

According to this, emotional abuse is now probably the most common variety of child abuse within the USA CDC data released this summer. About a 3rd of all U.S. adults reported experiencing emotional abuse during their childhood, CDC data shows.

“All adults get overwhelmed sometimes and say things unintentionally. We must work together to find ways to recognize these actions and end adult verbal abuse in childhood so that children can thrive,” said Jessica Bondy, founding father of the study sponsor and the UK non-profit Organization Words Matter, in a single opinion.

Children who experience abuse are more likely than their peers to have health and psychological problems over the course of their lives and achieve poorer school and profession outcomes.

“Clear terminology, definitions and measures are needed to assess the occurrence and impact of [childhood verbal abuse] for its detection and prevention,” the authors concluded.