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NCJ Number: 141903 Find in a Library
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:special issue (March 1993)  Pages:27-48
Author(s): P M Crittenden
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 22
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using cognitive theory on information processing, the author identifies four stages at which parents may fail to respond to the signals of children's needs: did not perceive the signal, interpreted the signal as not requiring a parental response, knew that a response was needed but did not have a response available, or selected a response but failed to implement it.
Abstract: Child neglect clearly results from social, ecological, and dyadic influences, and knowledge of internal processes leading to parental failure to respond may provide essential information regarding neglectful behavior. Neglect generally occurs when mental processing is aborted before appropriate and necessary parental behavior is undertaken. The theoretical framework suggested by the author postulates that many neglectful parents have problems in the early stages of information processing. Perceptual exclusion of affectively salient information is thought to be related to early experiences with attachment figures. Events in childhood can also lead to the faulty attribution that a parental response is not needed. Further, many researchers have noted the immature self-involvement of neglectful parents. Attachment theory conceptualizes this in terms of a developmental pathway characterized by anxious attachment. Limitations of an information processing perspective are examined, as well as implications of the perspective for child neglect treatment. 64 references and 4 notes
Main Term(s): Neglectful parents
Index Term(s): Child abuse treatment; Child development; Child victims; Cognitive developmental theory; Environmental influences; Juvenile dependency and neglect
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