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NCJ Number: 193388 Find in a Library
Title: Gender, Power, and Violence in the Family
Journal: Child Maltreatment  Volume:7  Issue:1  Dated:February 2002  Pages:56-64
Author(s): Daphne B. Bugental; William Shennum
Date Published: February 2002
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the attributions for parent-child relationship outcomes as a function of childhood maltreatment history.
Abstract: The question was whether those who had been abused as children hold distinctive attributional patterns concerning the causes of caregiving conflict. Also questioned was whether there were gender differences in the power-based attributional biases shown by males and females in response to a history of harsh or abusive parenting. The study involved 22 physically abused and 28 nonabused children from similar demographic backgrounds. Children were given the Picture Attribution Test (PIXAT). In Study 1, the results showed that boys and girls responded in different ways to victimization in childhood. Abused girls were significantly more likely than boys to respond with depressed levels of self-perceived power in relationships with adults. In the second study, the sample included 39 couples identified as at risk to become abusive with their children. Prospective parents were administered the Parent Attribution Test (PAT). Results indicated that maltreated women, like maltreated girls showed a pattern of perceived powerlessness. Just as maltreated girls saw themselves as having low power relative to parental adults, maltreated women saw themselves as having low power relative to dependent children. In contrast, males with a history of maltreatment as children revealed trends suggesting the possibility that abuse history was associated with very high levels of perceived power. The different attributional biases shown by males and females in response to a childhood history of physical abuse can be seen to have implications for subsequent risk for aggression. 2 tables, 2 notes, 44 references
Main Term(s): Abused parents; Child abuse; Child victims
Index Term(s): Emotional disorders; Family offenses; Male female victim comparisons; Psychological victimization effects; Victim profiles; Victim-offender relationships
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