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Can J Psychiatry. 1987 Jun;32(5):371-8.

Does verbal abuse leave deeper scars: a study of children and parents.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary, Alberta.


This study investigating the effects of verbal abuse on children and their abused parents, tends to support the clinical impression that verbal abuse may have a greater impact for a longer period of time. Although there are very few pure forms of verbal abuse, there are some parents who use verbal abuse but would hit their children, neglect them, or involve them in sex. Verbal abuse may become an increasingly frequent form of controlling and disciplining children because of the increased awareness of physical abuse and because of the possible declining value of children. Verbal abuse may have a greater impact because the abused child has greater difficulty defending himself from the attack. Because children tend to identify with their parents, the verbal abuse by their parents becomes a way in which they then abuse themselves.

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