Childhood emotional neglect occurs when one or both parents consistently ignore their child’s emotional needs. For optimal physiological and psychological development, children need the emotional support of their parents.
They need to feel they matter—their thoughts and emotions matter. Parents who are responsive to the emotional needs of their children raise securely attached children. These children grow up with high self-esteem and stable identities.
Children especially need the care and support of their mothers.
Harms of childhood emotional neglect
Unlike abuse which is often intentional, neglect can be unintentional. Certain life circumstances like divorce and accidents can leave children unintentionally neglected.
Childhood emotional neglect can have long-term psychological effects that persist into adulthood. Emotionally neglected children grow up to be adults who:
- have problems coping with stress
- believe their feelings don’t matter
- have a negative view of people and the world
- don’t expect relationships to work
Taking the childhood emotional neglect test
This quiz consists of 18 items on a 5-point scale ranging from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree.