Title: New Study Reveals Long-Term Harm of Verbal Abuse on Children’s Mental and Physical Health
In a groundbreaking research study, it has been suggested that parents or caregivers who resort to yelling and shouting may be causing significant harm to their children’s overall well-being. The study, conducted by researchers from Wingate University and University College London, sheds light on the detrimental effects of childhood verbal abuse (CVA), which encompasses various forms of derogatory and hostile language directed towards children.
The extensive review delved into 166 prior studies spanning over 45 years, focusing on childhood maltreatment. The findings uncovered startling results, indicating that verbal abuse can be as damaging to a child’s development as physical and sexual abuse. Furthermore, emotional abuse, including verbal abuse, is believed to be even more prevalent than other types of maltreatment and often goes unnoticed.
Verbal abuse encompasses not only shouting and yelling but also includes other forms of intimidation, hostility, or degradation. The study pinpointed parents as the primary perpetrators of verbal abuse, followed by other adults or caregivers, mothers, teachers, and coaches. The outcomes of verbal abuse were identified as emotional and mental distress, externalizing symptoms, internalizing behaviors, neurobiological changes, and physical health issues such as obesity and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Depression, aggression, behavioral disorders, substance use, and anger were reported as the most common consequences experienced by children subjected to verbal abuse. This research highlights the urgent need for better education, research, and interventions to address CVA as a form of childhood emotional abuse.
Recognizing the significance of CVA is crucial in creating awareness among parents, teachers, and coaches, in order to prevent this harmful behavior. Efforts should be directed toward building awareness and equipping caregivers with the necessary skills to promote positive parenting and effective communication, ultimately eradicating verbal abuse.
While this study presents a significant advancement in understanding the consequences of verbal abuse, it does bear some limitations. Notably, geographical or cultural factors were not considered, and the study excluded verbal abuse encountered among peers and romantic partners. Despite these limitations, the research was commissioned by Words Matter, a UK-based charity advocating for the prevention of childhood verbal abuse, whose mission is to bring attention to this pervasive issue.
As society progresses, it is of utmost importance that we address the damaging effects of verbal abuse on our children. Only through greater awareness, education, and concerted efforts can we hope to prevent this insidious form of emotional abuse and ensure the well-being of future generations.