Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the substantial and observable impairment of a child's mental or emotional functioning that is caused by:

  • rejection
  • deprivation of affection and/or cognitive stimulation
  • exposure to domestic violence or severe domestic disharmony
  • inappropriate criticism, threats, humiliation, accusations or expectations
  • the mental or emotional condition of a parent/guardian
  • chronic alcohol or drug abuse by anyone living in the child's home

A child's appearance might not indicate the existence or extent of the problem.  He or she might appear clean, well-groomed and well-nourished.  Yet the child might seem sad, depressed, timid, angry or withdrawn.  If possible, determine whether the parents/guardians are displaying behaviors that could be causing the child's impairment.


Source: Central Alberta Child and Family Services Authority (CFSA)