Childhood abuse can have far reaching effects. From insecurities to intimacy issues, from not daring to trust people to difficulties making friends, the effects of childhood abuse can show in any area of your life. These last much longer than just the moment or year(s) the abuse took place. Childhood abuse can develop into lifelong issues, or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Today on psych2go, we will learn about different types of abuse. Needless to say, these might be triggering for people so be watchful of what you are comfortable with reading about. There are many more types, so feel free to add others in the comments.
Name Calling, and other Forms of Verbal Abuse
While some people might say that words will never hurt them, words can and often DO hurt, especially when you are very young. Of course, the words from a carer or parent have an even more complex ability to hurt. A study by Johnson, Cohen et al. suggested verbal childhood abuse could increase the risk of PD’s, or as you would normally call them: “Personality Disorders.” (Johnson, Cohen et al.) Research by Teicher and colleagues even suggested that verbal abuse can alter the development of some parts of the brain. In this way verbal childhood abuse can even have physical effects (Teicher)
“One of my parents always made jokes about things I liked or didn’t like,” says Mary*, one of our readers. “It resulted in some deep insecurities. I don’t even dare to share what kind of music I like with my friends, because I’m afraid they’ll leave me if it’s not the music they like.” As you can see from Mary’s example, even seemingly joking things or small things can result in deeply rooted insecurities.
Shaming people for something that is not wrong can be a very toxic behavior. Especially when it comes from a parental figure or caretaker.
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Extreme Helicopter Parenting
This is different from being a pushy parent. Extreme Helicopter parenting occurs when parents are so overbearing that children do not have any say whatsoever in even minor details. Parents might be constantly checking in on or even tracking their children digitally. Furthermore, it might include children being consistently pushed too far emotionally, physically or otherwise, providing mental and possibly also physical scars. Especially when the above results in total loss of privacy or autonomy, things turn particularly dangerous.
Needless to say all of these things are very wrong, and often very damaging to a child. Sexual abuse, however explicit or implicit, can cause far reaching and long lasting issues.
Not providing a child with proper emotional or physical needs can lead to problems later in life. Many of those can be socially oriented, or have a psychological basis. However, neglect of physical needs like food can also result in physical problems such as muscle weakness.
Physical Abuse and Physical Neglect Childhood Abuse
Physical abuse can incude anything from kicking, slapping, hitting, throwing, biting, choking etc. The physical neglect type describes failure to provide food, clothing, supervision or child-appropriate living space. This of course, can include any improper
So these were several types of childhood abuse, which others have you heard of? Which ones have unexpected effects? Open the discussion below. See you in the next post.
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References and Sources
Baumeister, Roy and Ellen Bratslavsky, Catrin Finkenauer and Kathleen D. Vohs, “Bad is Stronger than Good,” Review of General Psychology (2001), vol.5, no.4, 323-370.
Cooper, Christine (1985) ‘Good-enough’, border-line and ‘bad-enough’ parenting. In: Adcock, M. and White, R. (eds.) Good-enough parenting: a framework for assessment. London: British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF). See pp.60-1.
Horwath, J. (2007) Child neglect: identification and assessment. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
*names have been changed for privacy reasons.