Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences


Public Health


This capstone project aims to discuss the difficulties in diagnosing and assessing the risk of emotional abuse in children under five. Emotional abuse is often broadly defined but can be generalized as abuse where a guardian will excessively criticize a child and make them feel unwanted [10]. Diagnosing emotional abuse in this age group is difficult as children are less likely to be around outsiders (non-family members) who could detect these signs. In addition, the signs and definitions of emotional abuse are unique to each case and vary among states [8,10,11]. Emotional abuse could affect the child's development and then leave lasting marks on the adult life, potentially causing depression and emotional dysregulation [6,10]. This paper uses various sources such as a forensic nursing journal, PubMed articles, and various child welfare organizations. This paper aims to bring awareness to the difficulties of diagnosing emotional abuse in children of this age group and present possible ways of creating a protocol that could help in diagnosis. Protocols need to be implemented for physicians, daycare teachers, and others in contact with children to alleviate the effects of emotional abuse.

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