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Implications for practice

Children of school-age exhibiting behavioural difficulties such as externalising or disruptive behaviour or features associated with ADHD e.g. impulsivity should be investigated for neglect or emotional abuse as a possible aetiology


Education staff need to be aware of both the behavioural features, reduced IQ and poor academic performance and difficulties in social interaction that children experiencing neglect / emotional abuse may exhibit


Children as young as eight may present with depressive or suicidal features as a consequence of neglect or emotional abuse, thus consideration should be given to screening children with known neglect / emotional abuse for these features


Children who are experiencing difficulty developing friendships may be experiencing neglect or emotional abuse, thus practitioners assessing children for neglect or emotional abuse should ask the child about the extent and nature of their friendships


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