Words Hurt: Emotional & Verbal Abuse Are as Damaging to Kids as Physical Abuse by Donna John

Words Hurt: Emotional & Verbal Abuse Are as Damaging to Kids as Physical Abuse

Think emotional and verbal abuse are not as damaging to kids as physical abuse? Think again. Both are equally damaging, according to a report in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Researchers studied almost 2,300 kids in a low-income summer camp, and of those kids about half had been abused. They found that kids with a history of abuse had higher rates of:

  • anxiety
  • withdrawal
  • depression 
  • neuroticism 

This was compared with campers that weren’t abused, regardless of type or severity of abuse. Results were similar regardless of sex or race.

Kelli Schulte
Ugh. This is so sad.
Stacey Roberts
This is what I learned from my aunt who was in an emotionally abusive marriage that shows the difference between emotional and physical abuse which is even worse for children because they can't escape.
She was in a very emotionally abusive marriage for 15 yrs, which none of us could see so really didn't know why they divorced. Even though we are very close the subject never came up why they divorced until a few yrs ago when she came to stay and help out while I was recovering from an illness. During that week when nobody was around she told stories of growing up, then I told her she didn't have to answer, but would she tell me why she got the divorce. As she told of incident after incident that finally became the norm how she was emotionally abused, my heart ached hearing how badly she suffered in silence. And that's where emotional abuse is worse, in our opinion. She said it's invisible whereas a black eye isn't, so trying to get help is useless. Those types of abusers are usually very charismatic on the outside but cross the threshold of their home and they turn into that monster.

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