Neglect or emotional abuse in teenagers: Core info leaflet How to identify and help teenagers who may have been emotionally abused or neglected

Girl in bedNeglect and emotional abuse are often not recognised in teenagers. Their behaviours may be interpreted by others as a lifestyle choice or ‘acting out’.

This leaflet summaries the research about teenagers’ experience of neglect and emotional abuse. It highlights findings about victimisation; perpetrators of violence or delinquency; future expectations; emotional wellbeing and risky behaviours. It finds that a better understanding of teenage neglect and emotional abuse may enable teenagers to access appropriate and timely help. 

Authors: NSPCC and Cardiff University
Published: 2014

Please cite as: Cardiff University, Department of Child Health and NSPCC (2014) Core-Info: neglect or emotional abuse in teenagers aged 13-18. London: NSPCC.

Core info series

The Core info leaflet series is based on a collaborative project by the NSPCC and Cardiff Child Protection Systematic Review Group at the Early Years research section of the Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, Department of Child Health, School of Medicine, Cardiff University.

The Cardiff Child Protection Systematic Review Group are engaged in a rolling programme of systematic reviews of published research literature on aspects of physical child abuse and neglect.

The full systematic review findings including research questions and methodologies as well as information about all of the reviews and annual updates being under taken can be found on the Core info website.

View Core info series

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Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child's basic needs. It's dangerous and children can suffer serious and long-term harm.
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Emotional abuse

Children who are emotionally abused suffer emotional maltreatment or neglect. It's sometimes called psychological abuse and can cause children serious harm.
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Domestic abuse

Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships. 
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