There is remarkably little known about child abusers and pedophilia. What little we do know typically comes from abusers who were caught and convicted, not from persons with pedophilia tendencies that choose to not act on those tendencies. Regardless, researchers have pieced together a bit about the psychology behind a sexual child offender.
A new study has found that victims of child abuse, who blame themselves and their families for their situation, experience higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Emotional abuse, or psychological maltreatment, is a fairly common form of child abuse but one that is often difficult to identify or categorize. Although complex and difficult to define, experts agree that occasional negative actions or responses to a child are not considered emotional abuse (we all lose our heads at times and say things we regret later). Regardless, even occasional emotional abuse may be harmful to the child. As Douglas Besharov states in Recognizing Child Abuse, “emotional abuse is an assault on the child’s psyche, just as physical abuse is an assault on the child’s body.”