6 behaviors considered child psychological abuse

Did you know that a large number of parents abuse their children psychologically because they do not know how to identify what behaviors are considered psychological abuse?

United States is not alone in its struggle to reduce the psychological impact that mental illnesses have on their child population, according to the World Health Organization four of the top 10 causes of disability in developed countries are mental disorders. Therefore, the consequences generated child abuse whether physical, sexual, emotional negligence or have a direct impact on our society.

According to the latest report released by UNICEF entitled “Hidden in plain sight,” experts warn about the increase in violence against children in the world after having collected information on 191 countries. According to data included in the report, children and niñascontinúan being victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse in different parts of the world.


According to UNICEF, about 3 in 10 adults in the world caring for children believe that to raise or educate a child properly is necessary to use physical punishment.

In 2014, the journal JAMA Pediatrics released a new report warning that from 2004 to 2011, one of every 8 children 18 years old or younger is abused in the United States. In the specific case of Latino children 13% were abused by their parents or close relatives. Of the 6 million children included in the study, in 80% of cases of child abuse victims they suffered neglect, 18% physical abuse and sexual abuse 9%, according to the report.

Looking ahead, the National Alliance for Mental Illness explains that in 2020 the disease of severe depression will be the main causes of disability among women and children.

I recommend you read: Depression and children

physical illnesses

The AAP in his study of adversity in childhood, toxic stress and the role of the pediatrician, acknowledged that the toxic stress in childhood produced extreme variables can trigger disturbances in the development of the child, cardiovascular problems, nervous system, the immune system and metabolism. AAP Specialists warn that the evidence shows that such disorders lead to impairments that may suffer for life and are reflected in learning disabilities, behavior, physical and mental.

For all the above reasons, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP for its acronym in English) emphasizes behaviors that threaten the mental health of children.

emotionally abusive behavior

Different types of behavior that are considered psychological abuse by parents or others responsible for raising children can be read in English in the online version of the journal Pediatrics. Below we reproduce the quote

1. Reject: reject, denigrate or other rejection, ridicule for expressing normal emotions, pointing or humiliate in public.

2. terrorize: place the child in unpredictable or chaotic circumstances, place it in obvious danger situations, having rigid or unrealistic expectations are accompanied by threats if the goals are not met, threaten or provoke violence against the child, a person or object why the child feels affection

3. Insulate: limit it to an environment; restrict their social interactions with the community

4. Exploit or corrupt: show, allow or promote antisocial behavior or be considered inappropriate development, restrict or interfere with cognitive development

5. Denying and ignoring his emotions: be indifferent or not involved, interact only when necessary, provide little or no affection, care and praise for any of the periods of childhood development.

6. To act negligently with mental, medical health and education: to limit their access to child care for other reasons than by inadequate resources; refusing to provide support to meet their emotional, behavioral, physical health or educational.

To look for help

As in all childhood diseases, the AAP and the medical community generally recommended that any doubt about the mental health of your child converses with the pediatrician to find positive and healthy solutions. The American Psychological Association (APA in English) through its program known as acts against violence (ACT for short) provides resources on its website to provide parents techniques to promote practices healthy aging.

I recommend you read: positive reinforcement for the child mental health reguardar

The clearest reminder about the role of the pediatrician in the psychological health of your child offers the AAP in his study of adversity in childhood, toxic stress and the role of the pediatrician, which indicates that it will work team with the pediatrician letting you know what steps to take to confirm if indeed your child has a mental disorder, or are permanently exposed to “toxic stress” and damage that can affect their psychological development.

Do not forget that the pediatrician is the most important to get resources or information about any treatment that you or your child need person.


Dr. Andrew S. Garner, Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff, Dr. Benjamin S. Siegel, Dr. Mary I. Dobbins, Dr.Marian F. Earls, Dr. Andrew S. Garner, Dr. Laura McGuinn, Dr. John Pascoe, Dr. David L. Wood. Pediatrics December 26, 2011 129: 1563-1566.

Dr. Roberta Hibbard, MD. Jane Barlow, D Dr. Phil, Dr.. Harriet MacMillan, and the Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Committee of violence and child abuse. Pediatrics August 1, 2012 3: 373-378.

Department of Health. (Healthfinder.gov). Home Reference Department of Health on child abuse and negligent conduct. Revised: July 30, 2012. http://healthfinder.gov/scripts/SearchContext.asp?topic=156>

Acts Against Violence (ACT acronym). Information page of the American Psychological Association on how to raise children without violence. Revised: July 30, 2012. http://actagainstviolence.apa.org/

National Alliance for Mental Illness. Page of information about what is mental illness and statistical data about mental illness. Revised: July 30, 2012. http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=about_mental_illness

He bureau children Department of Health of the United States (Children’s Bureau). Information Page Health Department statistics on children and families. Revised: July 30, 2012. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm#can

UNICEF. Report entitled “Hidden in plain sight” with global statistics on different types of violence against children. Revised: July 4, 2014. http://www.unicef.es/sites/www.unicef.es/files/informeocultosbajolaluz_0.pdf