New Approaches to the Study of Mother-Infant Interactions

The Case of Child Abuse


Dynamic systems theory entails a new approach to the development of social relationships, in fact principles of non-linear dynamics, self-organization and complexity may be used in a qualitative way and applied to various domains, like work on mother-infant relationships, emotion development, and motor and cognitive development. In the study of child abuse it is easy to consider determinism and indeterminism an unanswered question, for example in the transmission of intergenerational abuse: nonlinearities in the dynamic systems model are responsible also for different kinds of relationships between antecedents and consequents. If development is to enable creativity and emergence of novelty, there remains a level of unpredictability from current conditions to future conditions, as well as the capacity to make predictions from current conditions about the likelihood of future conditions in the promotion of smoother interactions. Determinism and indeterminism, acting together in social processes, lead to the development of relationships and communication.


Child Abuse Corporal Punishment Attachment Theory Psychological Abuse Overt Aggression 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

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