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NCJ Number: 222411 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Empathy Deficits in Siblings of Severely Scapegoated Children: A Conceptual Model
Journal: Journal of Emotional Abuse  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:2007  Pages:69-88
Author(s): Jane Hollingsworth; Joanne Glass; Kurt W. Heisler
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2004-DD-BX-1350
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper proposes a conceptual model that examines factors contributing to the development of empathy deficits in siblings of severely scapegoated (maltreated) children, identifies the elements with a proposed unified model, and examines the implications.
Abstract: One form of child maltreatment, often involving both physical and emotional abuse, targets one child in the family, referred to as the “scapegoat.” Scapegoat cases of varying degrees of severity are familiar to professionals who work with abused children and their families. While the targeted child has rightfully been deemed the major focus of attention by child protection workers, the courts, and therapists, the emotional abuse of siblings who witness and participate in the maltreatment has been given less attention. As siblings watch the maltreatment, they may initially attempt to reach out to the victim, but quickly learn that empathic behavior is not a safe recourse. They begin to demonstrate empathy deficits which may protect them from the effects of witnessing the process or the maltreatment. This paper first proposes a conceptual model that examines factors contributing to the development of empathy deficits in siblings of severely scapegoated children. It then identifies 10 elements in the empathy development process and proposes a unifying model. The paper also presents three redacted cases designed to illustrate the key elements, of which the brothers and sisters were deprived of a normal model of parenting, coerced into adopting the caretaker’s view of the targeted child, thereby developing a distorted view of relationships as dominant and/or submissive. Figure and references
Main Term(s): Child emotional abuse and neglect; Parental attitudes
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child victims; Emotional Abuse/Harm; Home environment; Parent-Child Relations; Parental influence; Psychological evaluation; Psychological victimization effects
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