Family Functioning in Neglectful Families.
Gaudin, J. M., Jr. Polansky, N. A. Kilpatrick, A. C. Shilton, P.
Georgia Univ., Athens. School of Social Work.
Published: April 1996
Child Abuse and Neglect
Vol. 20 , 363-377
Publication Information: Oxford (Great Britain), Elsevier Science, Ltd.
Sponsoring Organization: National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (DHHS), Washington, DC.
This article describes a study that examined family functioning in neglectful families. The sample included 103 neglectful and 102 nonneglectful low-income families. Data were obtained through self-report and observational measures. Results indicate that neglectful mothers reported that their families had more family conflict and were less expressive of feelings than nonneglectful mothers reported, but they did not view their families as being less cohesive. Ratings of observed and videotaped family interactions indicated that neglectful families were less organized, more chaotic, less verbally expressive, and showed less positive and more negative affect than nonneglectful families. There were wide differences, however, on measures of functioning among neglectful families that are accepted as critical indicators of healthy family functioning. Three distinct types of neglectful family functioning are identified, and interventions for each type are suggested to improve parent-family functioning. 32 references, 4 figures, and 4 tables. (Author abstract modified)
neglecting parents; child abuse research; comparative analysis; parent child relationships; family life; evaluation