Research at the University of Pittsburgh found that “harsh verbal discipline was detrimental in all circumstances”
They found that 13 year-olds whose parents had shouted at them suffered more depressive symptoms the following year than their peers who were not disciplined in that way. They were also more likely to misbehave at school, lie, steal, and fight.
The researchers followed almost 1,000, mainly middle-class, 13 and 14-year old children and their parents for two years asking how much verbal discipline was used. They also asked about the parent-child relationships, parental warmth and the feelings of teenagers and their parents.
Previous studies have concentrated more on physical discipline so this is one of the first to look at ver. The professor who led the research said that “teenagers feel insulted and it reduces their self-esteem. Sometimes they wonder if their parents love them and it hurts.”
The NSPCC said that a parent swearing and shouting at children may be emotionally abusing them and that adult survivors of child abuse say it’s the emotional abuse which lasts the longest.