Psychological maltreatment involves a repeated pattern of caregiver behavior or a serious incident that transmits to the child that he is worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value in meeting another’s needs. It is defined as both acts of commission (emotional abuse) and omission (emotional neglect). The aims of this review are to compare conceptual definitions of psychological maltreatment and to examine negative outcomes in adulthood. Maladaptive schemas, emotional dysregulation, and insecure attachment styles were analyzed as potential mediators of the relationship between psychological maltreatment and later psychological difficulties.
Keywords: Psychological maltreatment, emotional neglect, dysfunctional parenting, psychological outcomes in adulthood