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Child Abusers' Responses to Infant Smiles and Cries
Ann M. Frodi and Michael E. Lamb
Vol. 51, No. 1 (Mar., 1980), pp. 238-241
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129612
Page Count: 4
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
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14 child abusers and a matched group of nonabusers watched videotapes of crying and smiling infants. Their psychophysiological responses were monitored throughout the session. After each videotape, the subjects described their emotional responses on a mood adjective checklist. The crying infant elicited heart-rate acceleration and increases in skin conductance and diastolic blood pressure from both groups, although the abusers experienced greater increases in heart rate and reported more aversion and less sympathy. Like other parents tested in this paradigm, the nonabusers responded to the smiling infant with no change in or declines in physiological activation. The abusers, however, responded to the smile and cry stimuli similarly.
Child Development © 1980 Society for Research in Child Development