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Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse, describes a pattern of interactions in which one person subjects another person to behaviors that negatively affect the other person’s psychological well-being. Unlike other forms of abuse, emotional abuse does not require physical contact, nor does it require the intent of inflicting harm. Instead, emotional abuse refers to repeated acts of omission (i.e., neglect) and commission (i.e., verbal or nonverbal maltreatment) that convey to an individual that one is unsafe, unwanted, flawed, insignificant, or only of value in meeting another person’s needs. Individuals of all ages are vulnerable to experiencing emotional abuse, as it can pervade parent–child interactions, intimate relationships, and social exchanges with peers or colleagues. Although it is openly observable, difficulties in defining and identifying emotional ...

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