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NCJ Number: 77720 Find in a Library
Title: Child Abuse and the Etiology of Violent Delinquent Behavior (From Exploring the Relationship Between Child Abuse and Delinquency, P 152-160, 1981, Robert J Hunner and Yvonne Elder Walker, ed. - See NCJ-77711)
Author(s): A H Green
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Allanheld, Osmun and Co Publishers, Inc
Montclair, NJ 07042
Sale Source: Allanheld, Osmun and Co Publishers, Inc
6 South Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the relationship between child abuse and subsequent delinquency from the viewpoint of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
Abstract: The information is based on the treatment of abused preadolescents and adolescents and their parents at a New York treatment center for abused children and their families. Child abuse is regarded as a complex experience consisting of several interrelated components, rather than as a single variable. Experience at the center demonstrated that abused children reared under the interrelated conditions of parental assault, punishment, deprivation, rejection, and scapegoating learn to regard their environment with fear and distrust. They anticipate pain and frustration from parental encounters and generalize from these negative experiences to view the outside world as an extension of the sadomasochistic pattern of family life. The 'angry parent/bad child' interaction becomes the prototype for subsequent dyadic relationships. The absence of memories of parental love, care, and tenderness rob them of the capacity for optimism, affection, and empathy. Their relationships with others are characterized by expressions of uninhibited aggression, often accentuated by the presence of brain damage. Such children demonstrate an 'identification with the aggressor' which enables them to actively assume the role of the aggressor rather than that of the passive victim when threatening objects are present. To the abused adolescent, all human relationships consist of encounters between aggressors and victims. Placement outside the family is not sufficient for an abused child. Psychotherapeutic and psychoeducational intervention are also required at an early age. Three case histories and a 10-item reference list are included.
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse; Juvenile delinquency factors; Psychotherapy
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