This will be a key new text for modules on Children and Families on the qualifying Social Work degree, and on PQ courses in this area, and should also be used on Assessment & Intervention modules. It will also have wider appeal across Health and Social Care and on the new EYPS programmes – the market is wide ranging.

Definitions and the Roots of Oppression

Definitions and the roots of oppression

This introductory chapter outlines some of the concepts and models which can assist in an understanding of neglect and emotional abuse.

Chapter Overview

  • Terminology
  • Rationale
  • Cosmological model of children's development
  • Defining neglect and emotional abuse
  • Roots of oppression and abuse
  • Carer behaviour constituting neglect and emotional abuse


In much of the literature, commentators use various alternatives to the term ‘emotional abuse’ and, as Navarre (1987) observed, ‘in professional literature the terms “psychological abuse”, “emotional abuse” and “mental cruelty” have been used interchangeably’ (p. 45). Therefore, we include under the phrase ‘emotional abuse’ all terms such as ‘emotional’, ‘psychological’ or ‘mental’ combined with a word indicating some form of mistreatment such as ‘abuse’, ‘maltreatment’, ‘cruelty’ or ‘neglect’.

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