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Verbal Abuse in Families

  • By: Geraldine S. Pearson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Verbal abuse in families is defined as mistreatment between family members using words or language to convey personally negative and denigrating comments. The concept implies that there is an uneven distribution of power in the family and that one person uses authority to verbally abuse another family member.

Family is defined as biologically related relatives and those unrelated individuals who may have psychological familial relationships within the family. This topic focuses on all life stages of the family, since victims of verbal use can cross the life span from infancy to elder. Verbal abuse in families may be defined in the context of the individual who is seeking care or in broader observations of a family that might not involve providing care to one member. ...

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