Emotional neglect can be defined as 'emotional unresponsiveness, unavailability and neglect characterised by a lack of interaction between parent and child.' It has been linked to children developing more mental-health problems but most research so far has been based on adults' memories of their childhood not how children feel at the time. A team of researchers from the University of Glasgow and the Medical Research Council in Glasgow studied 1,694 children. The children filled out a questionnaire called the Parental Bonding Instrument at 11 to assess their relationship with their parents and then had a computerised psychiatric interview at 15 to assess any mental-health problems. 3% of the children perceived their parents as almost always emotionally neglectful and controlling and this group had more than twice the risk of developing mental-health problems at 15.
Young, Robert, Lennie, Susan and Minnis, Helen - Children’s perceptions of parental emotional
neglect and control and psychopathology Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry