1st Edition

Charting the Experience of Children and Adolescents Affected by Emotional Neglect

By Ewa Wojtyna, Marcin Gierczyk Copyright 2025
    176 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This timely and compelling volume explores the interdisciplinary perspectives on, and long-term consequences of, emotional neglect on children and adolescents, creating a theoretical model that considers the impact of emotional neglect in distinct phases of development.

    Paying specific attention to Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory which hypothesized that a child's development is impacted by their interactions with different systems within their environment, the book takes a unique and chronological look at neglect. Starting from prenatal development up to early adulthood, its chapters underpin research through exploration of other theories such as attachment theory, cognitive development theory, social learning theory, and emotional schema to highlight the importance of recognizing the negative consequences of emotional neglect, and encourage the of development of interventions that support healthy emotional development in children.

    This book will appeal to scholars, researchers, and postgraduate students working in child and family social work, child abuse and neglect research, as well as child and adolescent psychiatry and clinical psychology. Practitioners working with children and adolescents may also find the volume informative and useful.

    1. Emotional neglect - a problem that has been neglected for too long
    2. Invisibility in the spotlight - pitfalls of understanding healthy development in the context of recent cultural changes
    3. The social brain - neurobiological and evolutionary mechanisms related to neglect
    4. Infancy - being noticed equals surviving
    5. Toddlerhood - first steps under the watchful eye of an adult
    6. Early childhood – first experiences beyond the boundaries of the home
    7. Middle childhood - opening or closing opportunities for self-development
    8. Adolescence - find your own place and recognize yourself
    9. Emotional neglect in childhood - perspectives from many years later
    10. Taking care of neglected needs


    Ewa Wojtyna is Associate Professor of Psychology and a Medical Doctor, Institute of Medical Science, University of Opole, Poland.

    Marcin Gierczyk, Doctor of Social Science in Pedagogy, Associate Professor, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. 

    "In this book, Wojtyna and Gierczyk delve into the area of emotional neglect – an area that has thus far been under-researched. Emotional neglect has widespread consequences for the development of children not only in the earlier years, but it also has far-reaching consequences and impact across multiple domains and children’s trajectories even into adulthood. Therefore, the field of child/adolescent mental health and wellbeing will benefit immensely from the research and insights from [this] book. […] This is the first book to systematically present and synthesize knowledge in the field of child neglect, carefully focusing on developmental life stages from infancy through adolescence, and into adulthood."

    Rebecca P. Ang, Professor, Psychology and Child & Human Development, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.