Parental Responses to Infant Crying: The Influence of Child Physical Abuse Risk and Hostile Priming Matthew Chang Brittany Warrington Lisa Kline PSYC 308 October 14, 2008
Introduction <ul><li>Children <4 years of age account for 76.6% of child maltreatment fatalities </li></ul><ul><li>41.9% of these deaths account for infants <1 year of age </li></ul><ul><li>Previous studies have shown: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Parents who admit to physical abuse of infant describe infant </li></ul><ul><li>crying as excessive </li></ul><ul><li>2. High risk child physical abuse (CPA) risk parents are more inclined to </li></ul><ul><li>interpret infants cries in negative terms, thus increase the parents </li></ul><ul><li>feelings of hostility and hostile behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Dependent Measures of Study: </li></ul><ul><li>Trait ratings of crying infant </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of hostility </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to modulate grip strength during hand grip task </li></ul>
Introduction <ul><li>HYPOTHESIZES (After viewing 2-minute video of crying infant): </li></ul><ul><li>High compared to low, CPA risk parents would rate the infant more negatively, report feeling higher levels of hostility and use excessive force when attempting to modulate their grip to half strength </li></ul><ul><li>After temporary activation of hostile schema: Parents in the hostile, versus neutral, priming condition would rate the crying infant more negatively, report feeling higher levels of hostility, and use excessive force when attempting to modulate their grip to half strength </li></ul><ul><li>Predicted that the combined influence of CPA risk status and priming would produce an additive effect, such that high CPA risk parents in the hostile priming condition would report the highest negative trait ratings of the crying infant, more extreme feelings of hostility, and greater use of excessive force during the hand grip task </li></ul>
Methods BACKGROUND INFORMATION: N= 84 (38.6% Male, 61.4% Female) Mean age: 31.7 years 44.6% African American 48.2% Caucasian 7.2% Latino 68.7% Not married Mean # of children: 1.9 53.8% High school education of less MATERIALS: ~ Child Abuse Potential (CAP) Inventory- 160 item, agree/disagree questionnaire designed to screen for CPA risk ~ Scrambled Sentence Task- 12 sets of scrambled words under two conditions each: Hostile priming condition & Neutral priming condition; Parents must make scrambled words into complete sentence ~ Infant Videos- Three 2-minute videos of an infant in three states: crying, quiet, or smiling ~ Negative Trait Rating Task- Parents asked to rate child depicted in each video on 9 traits on 10-point scale ~ Hostile Feelings- Emotional Reactions Questionnaire (ERQ) ~ Hand Grip Modulation Task- measures parent’s ability to modulate hand grip to half strength
Methods 1. Sentence Unscrambling Task 2. Viewing of infant video segments with hand grip task 3. Trait ratings following each video segment 4. Rate feelings following video segments by completing ERQ 5. Parents complete CAP Inventory
Results Hostile Feelings Ratings - High & Low Risk Parents Across Priming & Infant State Conditions
Discussion <ul><li>Crying may Ironically increase risk of hostile responses by increasing parental hostility, although an infant signal of distress and assistance. </li></ul><ul><li>Parents reported higher negative infant trait ratings and feelings of hostility after viewing crying infant video. </li></ul><ul><li>High risk CPA parents rated the crying infant more negatively and had higher feelings of hostility than the low risk CPA parents. </li></ul><ul><li>High risk CPA status, hostile priming, and exposure to crying infant each appear to collectively influence feelings of hostility, and the highest all together. </li></ul><ul><li>Among high CPA risk parents collectively, those exposed to hostile words reported greater hostility than those exposed to neutral words and used excessive force when modulating squeeze responses. </li></ul>
Discussion- Current Lit. <ul><li>In an alternate study by Frodi & Lamb, it was found that abusive parents displayed greater reactivity such as increases in heart rate. </li></ul><ul><li>Abusive parents also reported more aversion and less sympathy for crying infants. </li></ul><ul><li>Abusive parents showed greater physiological arousal after viewing videos of stressful child behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Alternate and current study show that CPA risk parents experience similar feelings within results. </li></ul>
Discussion- Improvements <ul><li>Have prolonged exposure to stimulus, i.e. expose parents to infant crying video for 15 minutes rather than 2 minutes. </li></ul><ul><li>Although difficult to control, have exposure to real infants to determine if real live infant exposure alters feelings of hostility. </li></ul><ul><li>Assess parents hostility levels with their own infants through longitudinal study. </li></ul>
References <ul><li>Crouch, Julie L., Skowronski, John J., Milner, Joel S., & Harris, Benjamin (2008). Parental respones to infant crying: The influence of child phsyical abuse risk and hostile priming. Child Abuse & Neglect , 32 , 702-710. </li></ul>
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