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NCJ Number: 158157 Find in a Library
Title: Using Spoken Attributions To Classify Abusive Families
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:19  Issue:10  Dated:(October 1995)  Pages:1221-1232
Author(s): J Silvester; A Bentovim; P Stratton; H G I Hanks
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Despite claims that beliefs held by abusive parents are important indicators of family functioning, few studies have examined the relationship between parental belief patterns and child abuse severity; this study examined spoken attributions produced by 18 families during diagnostic therapy sessions following serious abuse of a child.
Abstract: The study applies findings from marital research that show how maladaptive attributional patterns predict the level of distress experienced in adult relationships. Attributions were identified from transcripts of the therapy sessions of the 18 families and then coded with the use of a standard system. Patterns of attributions, defined on the basis of previous work, effectively predicted classification of families by therapists as "good," "uncertain," and "poor" in terms of prognosis for rehabilitation. In using this classification to test hypotheses based on attributional style, group differences were found. In families rated "good," parents were more likely to attribute more control to themselves than to their children for negative outcomes. They were also more likely to view themselves as causing negative events. Case accounts of families from each category are presented to show how attributional analysis can contribute to an understanding of the individual nature of child abuse. 3 tables and 36 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Child abuse prevention; Diagnostic and reception processing; Parental attitudes; Parental influence
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