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Parents Of Battered Babies: A Controlled Study

Selwyn M. Smith, Ruth Hanson and Sheila Noble
The British Medical Journal
Vol. 4, No. 5889 (Nov. 17, 1973), pp. 388-391
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25421915
Page Count: 4
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Parents Of Battered Babies: A Controlled Study
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Abstract

A controlled investigation of 214 parents of battered babies shows that they were young and predominantly of lower social class. Premature parenthood is an associated feature. Among the mothers 76% had an abnormal personality and 48% were neurotic. Nearly half were of borderline or subnormal intelligence; 11% had a criminal record. Of the fathers 64% had an abnormal personality, more than half being psychopaths. Twenty-nine per cent. had a criminal record. Recidivism is an associated feature. The risk of battering possibly diminishes with time. The teaching of appropriate child-rearing skills, symptomatic relief, and social relearning are suggested as realistically based treatment methods and should be combined with a care order. When response to treatment appears unlikely permanent removal from parental care should be considered.

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