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NCJ Number: 229966 Find in a Library
Title: Automatic Encoding of Ambiguous Child Behavior in High and Low Risk for Child Physical Abuse Parents
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:25  Issue:1  Dated:January 2010  Pages:73-80
Author(s): Julie L. Crouch; Joel S. Miller; John J. Skowronski; Magdalena M. Farc; Lauren M. Irwin; Angela Neese
Date Published: January 2010
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20447
Grant Number: CA901490
Document: PDF
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated the differences in encoding of information in ambiguous caregiving contexts among parents with varying degrees of child physical abuse (CPA) risk.
Abstract: Recent theory and research suggest that physically abusive parenting behavior might be understood as originating from: 1) greater accessibility of hostile/negative schema, and/or 2) lower accessibility of benign/positive schema. This study examined whether parents at high and low risk for child physical abuse (CPA) differed in the extent to which they spontaneously encoded ambiguous caregiving contexts in negative versus positive terms. Twenty-five high and forty-one low risk for CPA parents were asked to memorize a set of sentences that described ambiguous caregiving situations. After a brief delay, participants were asked to recall the sentences. During recall, cues were given (e.g., negative and positive words) to facilitate recall. According to the cued-recall paradigm, to the extent that recall was facilitated by negative/positive cues, it was inferred that negative/positive meaning was activated when the ambiguous sentences were encoded. Although all parents tended to recall more information in response to negative relative to positive cues, the influence of cue type on recall was greater for high CPA risk parents. That is, high, compared to low, CPA risk parents obtained significantly higher recall difference scores (M=4.6 versus M=2.3); with higher recall difference scores indicating greater recall in response to negative relative to positive cues. Present findings are consistent with the proposition that high and low CPA risk parents differ in how they spontaneously encode information in ambiguous caregiving contexts. Tables and references (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Child abuse
Index Term(s): Abusing parents; Crimes against children; Domestic assault; Encoding; Family offenses; Information processing; Psychological victimization effects
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