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Parents Who Abuse: What Are They Thinking?

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Abstract

Child abuse is a major social concern around the world. Important to tackling the problem is an understanding of the mechanisms contributing to abusive parenting. This article brings together research on the cognitive variables associated with abusive or high-risk parenting. Considered are dysfunctional child-centered and parent-centered cognitions as potentially critical correlates of abusive behavior. The development of dysfunctional cognitions is also explored. Cognitive vulnerabilities alone are typically not sufficient for the occurrence of abuse. Interactions with additional factors, such as an ability to inhibit aggression, problem-solving capabilities, parenting skills, social isolation, and societal context are examined.

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Correspondence to Alexandra C. Seng.

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Seng, A.C., Prinz, R.J. Parents Who Abuse: What Are They Thinking?. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 11, 163–175 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10567-008-0035-y

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