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Webinar: Preventing emotional abuse of children: The role of parenting support

Wed September 6 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Preventing emotional abuse of children: The role of parenting support

In partnership with the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS)

This webinar will explore emotional abuse in childhood and the role of parenting support in reducing and preventing child maltreatment.

Despite its high prevalence, emotional abuse is less well-known than other forms of child maltreatment, including physical or sexual abuse.

Recently, the Australian Child Maltreatment Study found that in young people aged 16-24 years, about 35% had previously experienced emotional abuse, with the rate 1.5 times higher among girls than boys. The study also found that 40% of young women experienced emotional abuse before age 18. Furthermore, individuals who experienced emotional abuse in childhood were 2.3 times more likely to have attempted suicide in the past 12 months, 2.1 times more likely to have self-harmed and were 1.8 times more likely to be cannabis dependent, even after accounting for other experiences of maltreatment.

Despite being traumatising and contributing to a range of physical, social and psychological problems, experiences of emotional abuse are often minimised and overlooked in service settings.

Emotional abuse occurs at the hands of parents and primary caregivers and can overlap with other unhelpful forms of parenting. This makes the family environment key for the prevention of emotional abuse in childhood. Parenting programs have been shown to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors associated with child maltreatment.


  • Dr Divna Haslam, Senior Research Fellow and Clinical Psychologist, Queensland University of Technology
  • Associate Professor Alina Morawska, Director Parenting and Family Support Centre, University of Queensland