Mothers with mental retardation who do or do not abuse or neglect their children

Author: Tymchuk, A.;Andron, L.
Year: 1990
Reference Type: Journal Article
Journal/Book Title: Child Abuse and Neglect
Volume: 14
Pages: 313-323
Abstract: Mothers with mental retardation with or without a history of child abuse and/or neglect were compared on a number of demographic variables. The reasons why children were or were not removed also were examined. The demographic comparisons showed that while those mothers with such a history generally had higher IQs, they were similar to the mothers without such a history. Twice as many of those with a history of abuse and/or neglect were married, lived independently and had at least two children, one of which often had problems, in comparison to those without such a history. Examination of the reasons for child removal showed that removal occurred if the mother had a problem in addition to her retardation or if she was unwilling to attend and actively participate in a training program and/or did not have someone who could provide support. If a mother was willing and did attend training and had support, children were either not removed initially or were returned upon evidence that the mother was actively participating. In comparison to those mothers with a history of abuse and/or neglect, those without such a history functioned at a lower intellectual and functional level and were living with a relative who shared child-care responsibilities.

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