Types of Psychologically Abusive Behaviors by Caregivers

Spurning• Belittling, denigrating, or other rejecting
• Ridiculing for showing normal emotions
• Singling out or humiliating in public
Terrorizing• Placing in unpredictable/chaotic circumstances
• Placing in recognizably dangerous situations
• Having rigid/unrealistic expectations accompanied by threats if not met
• Threatening/perpetrating violence against child or child’s loved ones/objects
Isolating• Confining within environment
• Restricting social interactions in community
Exploiting/Corrupting• Modeling, permitting, or encouraging antisocial or developmentally inappropriate behavior
• Restricting/undermining psychological autonomy
• Restricting/interfering with cognitive development
Denying emotional responsiveness• Being detached or uninvolved; interacting only when necessary
• Providing little or no warmth, nurturing, praise during any developmental period in childhood
Mental health/medical/educational neglect• Limiting a child’s access to necessary health care because of reasons other than inadequate resources
• Refusing to provide for serious emotional/behavioral, physical health, or educational needs
  • Adapted from Hart et al2 and Brassard et al.5