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Added November 21, 2011
Teenage Advice—What is a "dysfunctional family"?
Dysfunctional and functional describe ways that families communicate and deal with problems. Dysfunctional families usually don't have the skills to handle stressful events or problems, and they can't always make the best choices for coping with life's challenges.
In dysfunctional families, parents may deny problems within the family, insist that the children keep secrets (about alcoholism or violence at home, for example), and discourage children from developing relationships outside the family circle.
Teenage Advice—What is "emotional abuse"?
Emotional abuse is usually defined as verbal attacks like put-downs, accusations, and criticism. People who are targets of emotional abuse begin to think it's their fault, and their self-esteem suffers. Emotional abuse in relationships often develops into physical abuse.
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