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October 1980

Women Who Abuse Their Children: Implications for Pediatric Practice

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego.

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(10):947-950. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130220025008

• Parents who abuse their children may not accept traditional therapy but may be influenced by the child's primary care physician. A comparative study of abusive and nonabusive mothers showed abusers to have lower self-concept and higher self-concept incongruence and inconsistency than nonabusers. They were also found to value authority over others more, and conformity and benevolence less, than nonabusers. Practically applied, the data lead the pediatrician to an educative and supportive role in which he or she may enhance self-esteem and lower unrealistic expectations in the course of treating the child. In addition, there seems to be a need to develop access to support groups, day care, and other avenues for the mother's personal growth. This may be done either within a pediatric practice or through liaison with community resources.

(Am J Dis Child 134:947-950, 1980)

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