Title

Is Emotional Abuse As Harmful as Physical and/or Sexual Abuse?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2020

Description

This article discusses risk factors for adults who have suffered early childhood trauma, specifically focusing on emotional abuse, and discusses the negative long-term consequences from childhood trauma such as depression, anxiety, stress, and neuroticism personality. This research study predicts that those who report emotional abuse will have higher sores for depression, anxiety, stress, and neuroticism personality compared to those who reported only physical, only sexual, or combined physical and sexual abuse. Using the NEO Five-Factor Inventory, Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale, and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, 748 college students participated in an on-line survey at a Southeastern university. As predicted, this study found those who reported emotional abuse had higher scores for depression, anxiety, stress, and neuroticism personality compared to those who reported only physical, only sexual, or combined physical and sexual abuse. Studies show emotional abuse may be the most damaging form of maltreatment causing adverse developmental consequences equivalent to, or more severe than, those of other forms of abuse (Hart et al. 1996). Therefore, this article discusses the need for public awareness campaigns to raise public and community awareness and evidenced based treatments that help with the psychological consequences resulting from emotional abuse.

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