We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is an Emotional Disturbance?

By Karize Uy
Updated Jan 20, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Emotional disturbance is a form of disorder often seen in children who are educationally of age. The disorder is most often associated with mental and social abilities, or lack thereof, and is not connected with a physiological defect in the brain. The United States’ Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has included this disorder as a qualifying disability for children to receive government support.

The IDEA describes a child as having emotional disturbance when his incapacity for learning is not contributed by physiological or logical reasons. The child is also observed to have difficulty in preserving a relationship with a person, much less creating an initial bond. A persistent melancholic temperament can also be observed, as well as improper modes of conduct in normal and habitual situations. Formation of social-related anxieties can also be associated with this mental disorder. All of these can result in impeding a child’s ability to develop and learn in school.

Parents and teachers alike should be watchful for other symptoms that can point to emotional disturbance. Aside from the description stated above, a child can also show bouts of hyperactivity, being impulsive and having a shorter attention span. At times, he can be overly aggressive, either towards his peers or to himself. In contrast, a child can be very withdrawn, choosing to isolate himself especially in gatherings like parties and reunions. Associated both with aggression and isolation are juvenile behaviors, such as tantrums and shouting.

Emotional disturbance can bring about damaging consequences, so early detection is key. This is especially important, as many children do not exhibit the symptoms habitually, and detection might be too late. Children with emotional disturbance may not only suffer from learning and other school-related problems, but also suffer from psychological difficulties, such as low self-esteem. If the disorder is not treated early, it can lead to other psychological disorders, such as bipolar, body dysmorphic, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

In the US, children whose emotional disturbance is severe can qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) under the IDEA. The IEP ensures that the child not only gets a customized education fit for his situation, but his social, emotional, and mental problems will also be addressed. In some cases, the child can be taught specialized skills in order to build his self-worth and sense of purpose in his daily living. Aside from the IEP, the child’s family should also hold a very important role on his way to treatment. Constant communication and interaction with familiar people are found to have a strong effect on a child suffering from emotional disturbance.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.