Wednesday, October 04, 2023 – “Childhood verbal abuse desperately needs to be acknowledged as an abuse subtype because of the lifelong negative consequences,” said professor Shanta Dube, the study’s lead author, and director of Wingate University’s Master of Public Health Program.
The study, which studied the impact of shouting by adults such as parents, teachers, and coaches, cited several papers that suggested the lasting effects of childhood verbal abuse can manifest as mental distress, such as depression and anger; externalizing symptoms, such as committing crimes, substance use or perpetrating abuse; and physical health outcomes, such as developing obesity or lung disease.
Jessica Bondy, the founder of Words Matter, stressed the importance of grasping “the true scale and impact of childhood verbal abuse.”
“All adults get overloaded sometimes and say things unintentionally,” she said in a statement.
“We have to work collectively to devise ways to recognize these actions and end childhood verbal abuse by adults so children can flourish.”
This lateststudy found that a potentially significant “shift in childhood abuse may be occurring,” as the prevalence of childhood emotional abuse has increased while physical and sexual abuse have declined, according to the World Health Organization in 2014 and four other papers cited in the new study.
Researchers also called for a “need for consistency” in defining childhood verbal abuse so that its “prevalence and impact can be appropriately measured, and interventions developed.