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ERIC Number: EJ775491
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Cognitive Processes Associated with Child Neglect
Hildyard, Kathryn; Wolfe, David
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v31 n8 p895-907 Aug 2007
Objective: To compare neglectful and non-neglectful mothers on information processing tasks related to child emotions, behaviors, the caregiving relationship, and recall of child-related information. Method: A natural group design was used. Neglectful mothers (N = 34) were chosen from active, chronic caseloads; non-neglectful comparison mothers (N = 33) were obtained from community agencies serving families. Participants were administered the IFEEL Picture task to assess maternal perceptions of infant emotions, eight vignettes of young children's behavior to assess attributions for child behavior across different scenarios, and a passage recall task to assess information processing problems. A measure of depression was used as a covariate to control for this variable. Results: Neglectful mothers were significantly less likely to recognize infants' feelings of interest, more likely to see sadness and shame, more inaccurate at labeling infants' emotions, and had a more limited emotion vocabulary. They also made more internal and stable attributions for children's behaviors in situations where it was not clear whether a child was at risk of harm, and had poor recall of information. Depressive symptoms had little effect on these findings with the exception of information recall. Conclusions: Neglectful mothers show significant problems in information processing concerning their child's emotions and behaviors, which may affect their childrearing behavior. Cognitive-behavioral interventions to improve parents' abilities to recognize their child's emotions and to address maladaptive attributions may be of value.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A