Child neglect and psychological abuse : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Definition

Child neglect (also called psychological abuse) is a form of child abuse that occurs when someone intentionally does not provide a child with food, water, shelter, clothing, medical care, or other necessities.

Other forms of child neglect include:

  • Allowing the child to witness violence or severe abuse between parents or adults
  • Ignoring, insulting, or threatening the child with violence
  • Not providing the child with a safe environment and adult emotional support
  • Showing reckless disregard for the child’s well being

See also:

  • Child abuse – physical
  • Child abuse – sexual

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

The rate at which children are physically and emotionally neglected is difficult to define.

Risk factors may include:

  • Mental illness
  • Poverty
  • Stresses in the family
  • Substance abuse by parents or caregivers

Abused children are at risk of becoming abusers themselves as adults.


Review Date : 3/14/2009
Reviewed By : Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.viewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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