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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 156778 Find in a Library
Title: Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:64  Issue:8  Dated:(August 1995)  Pages:5-11
Author(s): K A Artingstall
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the growing recognition by doctors, law enforcement personnel, and child protective services workers of Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP), in which adults injure or induce illness in children in order to gain attention and sympathy for themselves.
Abstract: Researchers first documented the serial nature of MSBP victimization in a study of 18 children in five families. In each family only one child was involved at any given time and five children appeared to be totally unaffected; 31 percent of the victimized children died. Large majorities of MSBP offenders have backgrounds in health professions, manifested Munchausen syndrome themselves, received previous psychiatric treatment, and attempted suicide. This article addresses issues related to investigative techniques, victim interviewing, victim safety, false allegations, child custody cases, substitute victims, and the role of MSBP in domestic abuse and child homicide cases. While police investigators may find it hard to believe that an adult seemingly concerned about a child's health could be causing the child's symptoms, a growing list of cases proves that MSBP represents a substantial challenge to the criminal justice system. 6 notes
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Juveniles; Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome
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