Study Shows Surprising Effects of Emotional Abuse in Children

The study’s results contradict widespread notions that different kinds of child abuse have different long term consequences.

A new study found that the emotional abuse of children has similar lasting mental health effects as physical abuse or neglect.

The study’s results, published in JAMA Psychiatry, were determined after researchers analyzed 2,300 children between the ages of 5 and 13 who attended a summer camp for low-income kids from 1986 to 2010.

The results could change the way child abuse is identified and treated, according to CBS News. The study’s authors questioned the widely accepted notions that different kinds of child abuse have different long term consequences (such as physical abuse leading to aggression and emotional abuse leading to depression) and that different demographics of children handle abuse differently.

RELATED: Physical Assaults Common Among Kids in U.S.

Psychologist Katherine Laparyk of the Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health at Cleveland Children’s Hospital said the report shows “we have to be a little more broad in our thinking” of strategies to deal with child abuse.

The study also highlighted the negative impact of emotional abuse, which is the most common type of maltreatment.

Emotional abuse includes ridicule, intimidation, rejection and humiliation. The World Health Organization estimates that emotional abuse is experienced by about a third of children worldwide.

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