yelling2When your children do something wrong, what do you do? You yell at them, right? Then they know they did wrong and won’t do it again. Well some researchers say that yelling can be a form of emotional abuse. Children may even suffer from depression or a decrease in self-esteem when parents frequently raise their voices or mix yelling with criticism, insult, ridicule, or humiliation.

A parent educator from New Hampshire, Bonnie Harris, said that it is not good to yell if blaming is involved, however, parents have every right to vent and let go of emotions.

A study found that emotional abuse is the most significant indicator of mental illness, more so than sexual and physical abuse.

Dr. Murray A. Straus, director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, said that yelling can set a bad example for children and how they handle social situations later on. On the other hand, Dr. Bennett Leventhal, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Chicago, said that children have to understand that parents and people in general are not perfect and sometimes lose it and it’s better that they learn that at home than from someone else.

Dr. Myrna B. Shure, professor of psychology at Drexel University, said that children can become immune to screaming and tune it out and it no longer becomes effective.

In a study of 991 families, 88 percent have reported screaming at their children in the previous year.

There seems to be gray area of whether or not yelling can be labeled as abuse since screaming can take many forms such as ridicule, humiliation, or blaming. However, now it may make you wonder whether or not yelling is effective or healthy.


Morris, Bonnie R. “Scream at Your Own Risk (and Your Children’s).” The New York Times. N.p., 9 Nov. 2004. Web. 1 July 2013. <>.

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