Chapter FourBrian Minty
The Nature of Emotional Child
Neglect and Abuse
IntroductionThe aim of this chapter is to try to clarify the nature and definition of child
neglect, emotional neglect and emotional abuse and to demonstrate their
inter-relationships. It is hoped that it will help practitioners better recognize
emotional neglect and abuse, and respond with sensitivity. In particular, the significance of emotional neglect is emphasized, without downgrading the
importance of physical neglect. The basic argument is that physical abuse and
neglect have a character and impact that are as much emotional and psychological in nature as physical, but that there are also other forms of abuse and neglect
that are not expressed physically (or sexually) at all, and these are best categorized as emotional neglect and abuse. The impact and harm of these other forms
of maltreatment have not always received the attention due to them. Also, emotional abuse and neglect can be used as residual terms. Types of abuse that are
not physical or sexual should be categorized as emotional (or psychological)
abuse. Types of neglect that are not physical should be categorized as emotional (or psychological) neglect.The justification for undertaking this task is two-fold:
|1. ||Experts in this field (Clausen and Crittenden 1991, p.6) suggest that
the difficulties of defining terms and assessing aspects of child
maltreatment have been a major obstacle in writing about child abuse
|2. ||Unless the full nature and diversity of child maltreatment is
recognized, there is a danger that professional intervention may
sometimes fail to grasp the reality of the harm done to children, and
the nature of the help children and families require.|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Child Neglect: Practice Issues for Health and Social Care.
Contributors: Julie Taylor - Editor, Brigid Daniel - Editor.
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley.
Place of publication: London.
Publication year: 2005.
Page number: 57.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may
not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.