Child neglect and psychological abuse

Definition of Child neglect and psychological abuse

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.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

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

Symptoms

Symptoms of psychological abuse may include:

Signs and tests

Children with suspected emotional abuse should be examined by a trained mental health professional. All neglected or psychologically abused children should be examined for other forms of physical abuse.

Treatment

The law requires health care workers, school employees, and child care professionals to report suspected abuse.

Expectations (prognosis)

With treatment, many children and parents can be reunited as a family. The long-term outcome depends on:

Review

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. – 3/14/2009

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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