ERIC Number: ED234891
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Acts of God and/or Rites of Families: Accidental Versus Inflicted Child Disabilities.
Meier, John H.; Sloan, Michael P.
A multifactorial model is presented that depicts a representative set of dimensions involved in child abuse and neglect. The model includes parental, ecological, and child factors linked to precipitating situations and/or events that result in child abuse or neglect. An excerpt from the records of an abused child illustrates the model. Also discussed are relationships among various handicapping conditions and whether child abuse and neglect contribute to or result from such conditions. Based in part on a review of the relevant literature and data from over 100 severely abused and neglected children and their dysfunctional families, subsequent discussion focuses on historical changes in attitudes toward handicapped children and their families; particular attention is given to the distinction generally made in society between conditions within and those outside parental control and, therefore, parental responsibility. Child abuse and neglect are also discussed with respect to the biological concepts of individual fitness, inclusive fitness, and parental investment. Differences between natural parents' and stepparents' investment in children and the withholding of parental investment in response to handicapping conditions are explored. Concluding material offers suggestions for treatment interventions, discussing the need to treat parents in addition to children, pathological qualities of parents, goals for treating reunified families, and requirements for treating abusive families. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Filmed from best available copy.