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NCJ Number: 151339 Find in a Library
Title: Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy: A Study of Psychopathology
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:18  Issue:9  Dated:(September 1994)  Pages:773-788
Author(s): C Bools; B Neale; R Meadow
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 16
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Information from 56 families in the United Kingdom in which a child had been the victim of illness fabricated by the mother (Munchausen Syndrome by proxy) was analyzed to determine the psychiatric status of the mother based on both standard methods of psychiatric assessment by interview and on a lifetime overview.
Abstract: Approximately half of the mothers in this study had either smothered or poisoned their child as part of their fabrication of illness in the child. An analysis of lifetime psychiatric histories for 47 of the mothers revealed that 34 had a history of Factitious of Somatoform disorder, 26 had a history of self harm, and 10 had a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Nine mothers had a forensic history independent of convictions related to child abuse. Nineteen of these mothers were interviewed from 1-15 years after the original fabrications. The most notable psychopathology was the presence of a personality disorder in 17 of the mothers, which were predominantly Histrionic and Borderline types. However, most of the women met the criteria for more than one category of personality disorder. Tables, appended case summaries, and 56 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abusing parents; Medicolegal considerations; Mentally ill offenders; Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome; Psychological evaluation; United Kingdom (UK)
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