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Journal Article: The Abused Child as Parent

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Journal Article: The Abused Child as Parent

The Abused Child as Parent

Perception of Self and Other

Rita Baker

1. The Abused Child as Parent: Perception of Self and Other. By: Herzog, Elaine P.; Gara, Michael A.; Rosenberg, Seymour. Infant Mental Health Journal, Spring92, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p83-98, 16p; (AN 12051973)

2. Yes, I do believe this journal contains some articles that would be of interest to people who are entering in the medical field, college students who are doing research on issues pertaining to infants and pregnancy and women who are currently pregnant or wish to become pregnant in the near future. Here are a few titles of interest:

* Impact of mother interactive style on infant affect among babies exposed to alcohol in utero.

* Behavioral Control Dynamics and Developmental Outcomes in Infants Prenatally Exposed to Cocaine.

* Prenatal diagnosis and management of intrauterine growth restriction: A long-term prospective study on outcome and maternal stress.

3. The title of the journal article I choose was, The Abused Child as Parent: Perception of Self and Other. The reason I choose this article is based on the fact when I was a young child I was both verbally and physically abused by my father. Now that I am a mother myself, I wanted to find out if the affects of my childhood would influence the way I raise mine.

4. a. This article contains two hypotheses:

* "First, we hypothesize that the rate at which a high-risk mother's perceptions of her child map onto the structure established for adults will be faster than the rate for parents who are less high risk for abusing their infants. This hypothesis is consistent with other findings regarding the potentially abusive parents who appear especially prone to expect advanced, even adult, behaviors for their infant child and presume motives beyond his or her developmental ability."

* Secondly, "An at-risk mother's perception of herself is expected to show one of two general patterns with respect to her perceptions of the parents(s) that abused her, disjunction and equivalence. We assume that the first pattern (disjunction) reflects a psychological defense against any possibility of seeing the abusive parent in self ("I can't possibly abuse my child because I'm not like my mother".) The second (equivalence) reflects identification with the "aggressor" pattern. Normal parents are expected to fall between these two extremes in terms of how perceptions of self and parent(s) are structured."

b. The first hypothesis basically states that the mothers who have an adult like perception towards her infant will be more likely at risk to have abusive tendencies towards her child. The second hypothesis basically states that there are two types of perception attributes one being disjunction and the other being equivalence. The disjunction perception is like a denial stage while equivalence perception is compared to the acknowledgement stage. The independent variable was the location of where the interviewing took place which was the subject's place of residence. The dependent variable was the line of questions that was administered in order to set up the analysis between the subject as "self" and "child".

5. There were five clinical cases that were analyzed. Three subjects were severely mistreated by means of physical abuse starting from age 3 to adolescence and the remaining two were not abused but came from dysfunctional homes with intense emotional turmoil. The five female subjects ranged from ages 18- 20 and were patients of the CARRI program through the Community Mental Health Center of Piscataway New Jersey. These mothers were selected based on their issues regarding a combination of emotional, social and economic problems which would pose and opportunity for abuse or neglect to their babies. The studies were conducted at the subject's residence.

6. The type of research that was used in this study was both naturalistic observation and case study. In the naturalistic study, a mental health clinician observed the subjects in their own environment to obtain an in-depth study of an individual's IPT (implicit personality theory) using the adaptation method developed by Rosenberg. The research consisted of 2 separate interviews with the duration lasting about 1-2 hours. In the first interview the clinician asked a series of self aspect questions about herself now (adult) and her relationship with significant people in her life. In the second interview the same series of questions



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