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PSYCHOLOGY NEWS - The Long-Term Harm of Childhood Emotional Abuse and Neglect

by Dr. Lynn Margolies


APRIL 2015

Long-term effects of psychological abuse

…A recent study analyzing data on 5,616 youngsters from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network core data set found that childhood emotional neglect and emotional abuse leads to as many, and sometimes even more, mental health issues as physical or sexual abuse alone. (The article will appear in a special issue of the APA journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.) Emotional abuse in this study was defined as: bullying, coercive control, severe insults, putting down, threats, overwhelming demands, shunning/shaming and or isolation. Certain conditions such as clinical levels of depression, anxiety, social anxiety and substance abuse were associated even more with psychological abuse and neglect than the other forms of abuse. Neglect and psychological abuse - insidious, less conspicuous and often not identified as maltreatment - have pervasive harmful long-term effects.

American Psychological Association. (2014, October). Childhood Psychological Abuse as Harmful as Sexual or Physical Abuse. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/10/psychological-abuse.aspx

Binge drinking in adolescence affects brain development by impacting genes

…Binge drinking in adolescents affects brain development by degrading the brain’s ability to form needed neuronal connections - permanently impacting genes that govern behavior in adulthood. Specifically, on and off exposure to alcohol through binge drinking in the teenage years increases the likelihood of anxiety, and preference for alcohol/alcoholism, in adulthood.

Pandey, S. C., Sakharkar, A. J., Tang, L. & Zhang, H. (2015). Potential role of adolescent alcohol exposure-induced amygdaloid histone modifications in anxiety and alcohol intake during adulthood. Neurobiology of Disease. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2015.03.019

Marijuana use exacerbates mania and depression

…Marijuana use is linked to an increase in both manic and depressive symptoms in people with bipolar disorder, according to a new study by Lancaster University. The researchers found that the likelihood of using marijuana increased when people were in a good mood. Marijuana use was also associated with an increase in positive mood, manic symptoms and, also, an increase in depressive symptoms.

Tyler, E., Jones, S., Black, N., Carter, L-A. & Barrowclough, C. (2015). The Relationship between Bipolar Disorder and Cannabis Use in Daily Life: An Experience Sampling Study. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0123953. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123953

Relevant Articles:

When Good Intentions Fall Short

Power Plays Between Brothers & Families

Trauma, PTSD

How Parents Can Help Teens Under Academic Pressure (and 5 Common Traps)

Seduced by Risk and Danger: The Teenage Mindset - Part 1

Protecting Teens from Danger: Tips and Advice for Parents - Part 2

Teen Drinking: Limits vs. Punishment

Know Your Limits: A Prom Primer for Parents


To see other similar articles, click on the following links: Psychology News

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