This quiz was adapted from this source: Stewart C, et al. (2014). Development and psychometric evaluation of the child neglect questionnaire.

Abuse affects thousands of children each year in the United States. Neglect is the most common type of abuse seen.

According to the National Children’s Alliance, nearly 75% of the more than 600,000 estimated children in the United States who were survivors of abuse in 2020 were neglected.

Neglect occurs when a child’s basic needs — including clothing, food, or shelter — aren’t being met. But it can also involve ignoring, dismissing, or minimizing a child’s emotions.

For example, if your parent was dismissive growing up and didn’t respond to your affection or need for attention, this may be considered a form of emotional neglect.

Childhood emotional neglect doesn’t look the same for every person. But there are some common signs.

If you experienced emotional neglect as a child, your caregivers may have:

  • expected you to be independent
  • rejected you when you expressed your needs or emotions
  • left you to fend for yourself
  • been slow to respond to your basic needs
  • reprimanded you for depending on them

Childhood emotional neglect can affect your attachment style and influence your relationships in adulthood.

Research from 2018 suggests that childhood neglect is often associated with an avoidant attachment style.

In this attachment style, you may:

  • feel uncomfortable sharing your feelings
  • be dismissive of others
  • spend more time alone than interacting with others
  • have a strong sense of independence
  • avoid emotional or physical intimacy
  • have a hard time trusting others
  • feel threatened by intimacy and closeness with others

Experiencing childhood emotional neglect can make it challenging to be open, intimate, and trusting with others in adulthood. But with the right support and treatment, you can find ways to cope.

Taking a test to determine if you may have experienced emotional neglect in childhood can be a good first step.

This brief, time-saving questionnaire is designed for anyone who thinks they may have experienced emotional neglect as a child and that this may be having an impact on their daily life and relationships.

The statements in this quiz are about what it was like when you were living with your caregiver as a child.

If you lived with different caregivers at different times, or if there’s a question that applies only to part of the time when you were growing up, try to answer for the caregiver or the part of the time you think had the most influence on you.

This online screening tool is based on the Childhood Neglect Questionnaire. It’s not intended to be a diagnostic tool. It does not guarantee that your daily life challenges are a result of childhood emotional neglect.

Only a licensed mental health professional or trained medical doctor can help you figure out whether childhood emotional neglect has contributed to your mental health concerns and determine the next best steps for you.

If you think a partner, friend, or family member may be impacted by emotional childhood neglect, you can take this quiz on behalf of them as well.

Keep in mind that the results may not be as accurate because they’re based on your perception of them and not their direct personal experience.