ERIC Number: ED260483
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-May
Reference Count: 0
Nonverbal Behavior of Young Abused and Neglected Children.
Hecht, Michael L.; And Others
A study was conducted to examine the effects of child abuse and neglect on children's nonverbal behaviors. It was hypothesized that abused and neglected children would be less active nonverbally than would control group children. Eight abused and neglected children, aged one through three years, were videotaped interacting with their caregivers in a daycare center, and their behavior was compared with that of a matched control group from the same center. Children were desensitized to the presence of the observers and were taped in a familiar room at the center, interacting with a familiar caretaker. After taping was completed, the tapes were coded into 9 categories in three areas of nonverbal behavior: proxemic (distance maintained from caretaker), kinesic (reaching, touching), and gaze (eye contact) behaviors. The scores were analyzed to determine the differences between abused and nonabused children. The results indicated that the abused boys tended be either slightly more exploratory or slightly more active than their nonabused counterparts. The abused girls tended to avoid physical contact with the environment and social engagement with the adult more than their nonabused counterparts or the boys in either group. The results suggest that the abused children conformed more closely to sex stereotypes than did nonabused children. (HTH)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Behavior Development, Child Abuse, Child Caregivers, Child Development, Child Neglect, Childhood Attitudes, Communication Research, Comparative Analysis, Day Care Centers, Females, Interpersonal Communication, Males, Nonverbal Communication, Preschool Education, Self Esteem, Sex Differences, Sex Stereotypes
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (35th, Honolulu, HI, May 23-27, 1985).