Over the last 5 years, the topic of psychological maltreatment has received increasing attention and recognition in the developmental literature. The phenomenon was not discovered 5 years ago, of course: certain aspects of it have been investigated and discussed in conjunction with research on physical abuse and neglect for many years. Only recently, however, have many researchers and clinicians begun to argue that psychological maltreatment should be studied as a distinct phenomenon, rather than simply as one type or facet of child maltreatment (Garbarino, Guttman, & Seeley, 1986). In order to draw attention to this topic, some have even claimed that psychological maltreatment has more serious consequences for the child than physical or sexual abuse do (Hart & Brassard, 1987). Although empirical support for this claim is lacking, we know from other research that “nonphysical” experiences, such as abrupt and extended parent-child separations or marital discord, can have pervasive and long-lasting adverse influences on a child's development (Hess & Camara, 1979; Hetherington, Cox, & Cox, 1982; Rutter, 1979).