What are the effects of yelling at your child/toddler?

This blogpost will answer the question “What are the effects of yelling at your child/toddler?” and cover topics the effects of yelling at your child on parent- child relationship, the lifelong effects of yelling at your child, the effects of yelling at your child’s physical health, the effects of yelling at your child’s psychological health and the effects of yelling at your child on their social health.

What are the effects of yelling at your child/toddler? 

Yelling at your child results in following 5 hazardous lifelong effects:

• Yelling at your child/toddler  alters the quality of the parent-child relationship.

• Yelling at your child/toddler tends to negatively affect the physical development of the child.

• Yelling at your child/toddler has a negative impact on their psychological state.

• Yelling at your child/toddler ends up deteriorating the child’s social health.

• Yelling at your child/toddler declines their academic life.

Parents use yelling as a way to discipline their children. They tend to raise their voice often to discipline their children and utilize verbal anger through shouting as a strategy for altering their child’s unwanted behaviors.

The lasting effects of yelling at your child/toddler

Research reveals that verbal aggression and yelling at children/toddlers by their parents produces irreversible and lasting impact upon children. Children often learn and mirror the yelling behavior of their parents. 

Findings from a twin study conducted under controlled settings to empirically validate the long-term effects of parents yelling at children by Burt, McGue, Iacnono and Krueger in 2006 suggested that yelling by parents at their children and verbal aggression at a young age leads to misconduct and problematic behaviors at later age in life.

The long term effects of yelling at your children include:

• Children tend to develop a negative view of themselves.

• There are potential chances of development of antisocial personality traits among children.

• Yelling by parents at their children results in learning verbal anger as a preferred way of communication among children.

• Parental yelling has a potential  risk of developing delinquent tendencies among children.

• Perception of parents as being unreliable and manipulative among children.

• Children often become suspicious of their parents feelings towards them and tend to defend themselves through aggression.

The effects of yelling at your child/toddler on parent-child relationship

Losing calm at your child and yelling at them has the following short term effects:

• The child/toddler might throw a temper tantrum as a result of yelling by parents.

• The child/toddler feels an intense feeling of being hurt by their parents.

• The child/toddler feels being rejected by the parent.

• The child/toddler feels a strong feeling of being demeaned by the parents.

• The child/toddler develops fear from the parents.

• The child/toddler develops distrust towards the parents.

• Yelling at child/toddler makes them feel ashamed and disappointed.

Research shows that when parents use verbal disciplining by raising their voice and yelling at their children, they tend to inculcate in their child a feeling of being rejected, abandoned, mistreated, hated and useless.

A scientific study conducted by Evans et al in 2012 concluded that parents who use yelling as a preferred way to discipline their child tend to be viewed by the child as parental hostility and parental rejection.

The same findings were highlighted by Bowlby in 1982 suggesting that parents yelling at children has a negative effect on the parent-child relationship. As a result of verbal aggression and hostility from parents, children tend to view their relationship with their parents as intimidating, unreceptive and unsupportive.

The effect of yelling at your child’s/toddler’s physical health

The physical health of children is greatly affected by parent’s yelling at their children. Some of the major health hazards are:

• Children experiencing constant yelling by parents develop stress feelings.

• Parental Yelling often results among children experiencing increased heart rate due to fear.

• Children experiencing parental yelling tend to have developmental hazards.

• As a result of yelling by parents, the fight, flight or freeze response of neurochemicals gets ingrained among children and they lack healthy ways of communication.

• Parental yelling increases the hormones related to stress in the bloodstream among children.

• Parental yelling increases the function of the amygdala in children. They tend to execute every event in light of the emotional brain.

• Parental yelling produces somatic symptoms like muscle tension, teeth grinding among children.

The negative impact of parental verbal abuse on physical health and brain development has also been seconded by research studies. Research has found that children who experience yelling by parents and have been often the victims of verbal abuse by parents develop alterations in their brain development.

Choi et al in 2009 conducted a research study on 1271 adults who faced parental yelling and verbal abuse. The study found that there are a number of changes in the white matter of the brain of adults who faced constant parental yelling. 

Results indicated reduced white matter regions leading to significant impact upon neural pathways with greater repercussions of developing pathological tendencies in future.

The psychological effects of yelling at your child/toddler

Parental yelling at their children has the following effects on their child’s psychological health:

• Parental yelling leads to behavioral issues among children.

• Children develop conduct issues due to parental yelling.

• Parental yelling often induces feelings of fear resulting in lifelong trauma.

• Parental yelling often leads to low self -esteem among children

• Parental yelling leads to development of a-social personality traits among children.

• Children develop feelings of constant anxiety due to parental yelling.

• Children tend to feel depressed due to parental yelling.

• Children tend to develop an inadequate self-image of themselves due to parental yelling.

• Children develop symptoms of emotional hypo-reactivity or hyper-reactivity due to parental yelling.

Research study by Moore and Peppler in 2006 suggested that constant yelling at children is often taken by children as a source of continuous criticism and insult. Such children often develop internalizing behaviors as a result of parental yelling. 

The internalizing behaviors as a result of parental yelling lead the child towards developing a negative view of the self, developing a negative view of the world and a negative view of others. Yelling by parents thus declines children’s psychological well-being.

The effect of parental yelling at children on their social health

Parental yelling at children usually has long lasting effects on their social relations. Such children tend to lack appropriate social and communication skills. Children experiencing persistent yelling by parents often develop:

• Inadequate intrapersonal skills as a result of parental yelling.

• Parental yelling results in ineffective interpersonal skills among children.

• Children experiencing parental yelling lack appropriate emotional expression at home and in social settings.

• Children experiencing parental yelling have difficulty regulating their emotions.

• Children experiencing parental yelling tend to develop insecure attachment patterns.

• Parental yelling results in lack of ability to form meaningful social relationships among children.

• Children usually lack confidence in life as a result of verbal abuse and parental yelling.

• Parental yelling leads to development of social anxiety among children.

• Children experiencing parental yelling develop features of avoidant personality disorder in life.

• Due to parental yelling, children prefer withdrawal and isolation.

• Yelling at children by parents makes them develop a tendency to get negatively influenced by peer pressure.

• Children experiencing persistent parental yelling have a strong tendency of getting addicted to social media.

Research conducted to evaluate the outcomes of parental yelling at children also highlights that such children tend to have low tolerance levels, have increased sensitivity to criticism and have a negative view of their interpersonal relationships. 

Rohner in 2004 stressed the development of negative affective states among children as a consequence of constant parental yelling. The findings report feelings of agitation, frustration, irritation and anger more common among such children.

The effect of parental yelling at child’s/toddler’s academic life

The effects of yelling by parents on their children tend to have negative outcomes on their academic life. Donovan and Brassard in 2011 conducted a study on the consequences of Parental yelling at academics of children. They concluded that both male and female children receiving verbal abuse and yelling from parents were predisposed to develop depressive features by middle school regardless of their socioeconomic background.

The prominent effects of parental yelling at child’s academic life include:

• Declined academic performance.

• Low academic achievement.

• Maladjustment to classroom settings.

• Withdrawal tendency.

• A higher tendency to get bullied.

• Behavioral issues in the classroom.

• Trends of oppositional defiant disorder.


The current blog addressed the question “what are the effects of parental yelling on a child/toddler?”  We learned that yelling at children is a form of verbal abuse by parents and has a traumatic lifelong impact not only on the parent-child relationship but also on children’s physical, psychological, social and academic life. The article discussed all the effects in detail with reference to specific scientific researches that empirically validate the effects of parental yelling on children. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What are the effects of parental yelling on children?

Is yelling effective parenting?

No, Yelling is not an effective way of parenting. Usually aggressive and harsh parenting styles incorporate yelling as a preferred way of disciplining the child. Yelling at children negatively influences their perception of relationship with their parents. 

Can yelling cause depression among children/toddlers?

Yes yelling at children by parents results in depression among children. They tend to feel sad, worthless, irritated and hurt. They also develop feelings of being ashamed and criticized. It also results in social isolation and withdrawal.

What are the lifelong effects of yelling on children/toddlers?

Yelling by parents at children has a lifelong impact on their personalities. They develop a constant feeling of fear and most children end up being traumatized by persistent yelling of parents. They develop stuttering, social anxiety and phobias. They also learn yelling as an appropriate way of communication.

Can yelling cause anxiety among children/todders?

Parental yelling on children develops feelings of anxiety among children. They remain fearful, have negative apprehensions in life, develop negative views of self and have social anxiety. 

How does yelling affect the brain?

Yelling affects the development of the brain. Parental yelling tends to affect the production of stress hormones and the resulting neurotransmitters. Experiences of constant yelling by parents results in changes of white matter in the brain specifically in the hippocampus region, that usually controls and manages emotional well-being.


  • Burt SA, McGue M, Iacono WG, Krueger RF. Differential parent-child relationships and adolescent externalizing symptoms: Cross-lagged analyses within a monozygotic twin differences design. Developmental Psychology. 2006;42:1289–1298. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.42.6.1289.
  • Donovan KL, Brassard MR. Trajectories of maternal verbal aggression across the middle school years: Associations with negative view of self and social problems. Child Abuse & Neglect. 2011;35:814–830. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2011.06.001.
  • Bowlby J. Attachment and Loss. I. New York: Basic Books; 1969/1982. Attachment
  • Evans SZ, Simons LG, Simons RL. The effect of corporal punishment and verbal abuse on delinquency: Mediating mechanisms. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 2012;41:1095–1110. doi: 10.1007/s10964-012-9755-x.
  • Moore TE, Pepler DJ. Wounding words: Maternal verbal aggression and children’s adjustment. Journal of Family Violence. 2006;21:89–93.
  • Choi, J., Jeong, B., Rohan, M. L., Polcari, A. M., & Teicher, M. H. (2009). Preliminary evidence for white matter tract abnormalities in young adults exposed to parental verbal abuse. Biological psychiatry, 65(3), 227-234.
  • Gershoff, E. T., Grogan-Kaylor, A., Lansford, A. E., Chang, L., Zelli, A., Dieter-Deckard, K., & Dodge, K. A. (2010, December). Parent Discipline Practices In An International Sample – Associations with Child Behaviors and Association by Perceived Normativeness. Child Development, 82(1), 487 -502 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2888480/pdf/nihms-198378.pdf
  • Mackenbach, J. D., Ringoot, A. P., van der Ende, J., Verhulst, F. C., Jaddoe, V. W. V., Hofman, A., Jansen, P. W., & Henning, W. T. (2014, August). Exploring the relationship between parental harsh discipline and child emotional and behavioral problems by using multiple informants. PLOS ONE, 9(8) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4132073/pdf/pone.0104793.pdf
  • Markham, L . (2016, January). You can stop yelling – Here is your 10-step plan ahaparenting.com/blog/How_To__stop_yelling_at_kids 

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