Childhood emotional neglect test (18 Items)


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.

Answer each item based on how you feel now, not how you felt as a child. If you score high on this test, you should also score high on the emotional numbness and abandonment issues quizzes.

Childhood emotional neglect test

1. Even when I'm with people who're close to me, I feel like I don't belong.

2. I constantly compare myself to others and believe that I am not good enough.

3. I sometimes get the impression that I'm just a bystander watching everyone else's life unfold.

4. I believe I have not lived up to my full potential.

5. Mostly, I just want to be left alone.

6. In social situations, I am prone to feeling uneasy.

7. I am harsher on myself than I am on others.

8. I feel like something is preventing me from being fully present in the moment.

9. I have a sneaking suspicion that something is wrong with me.

10. I have a hard time recognizing, naming, and comprehending emotions.

11. I have a hard time expressing my needs.

12. I feel empty when I should be feeling strong emotions.

13. I'm afraid of relying on others, and I reject offers of help, support, or care.

14. I have a hard time identifying my strengths and weaknesses.

15. I blame myself almost exclusively.

16. I joke about my problems instead of talking about them.

17. I have trouble connecting with others.

18. I have an overall negative view of the world and people.