Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1982

Volume 7 Issue 3

Stress, Empathy and Child Abuse

Florence Lieberman

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Poverty and external stress are often emphasized as the primary precipitants of child abuse. Such a perspective does injustice to the complexity of the interactions between parent and child, to the intricacies of human behavior and to the realities of child abuse. Though social, economic and other deprivations influence, develop and exacerbate physical, mental and emotional difficulties, they do not explain sufficiently why some individuals neglect and abuse children, and others in the same situation do not. This paper will develop ideas about stress and empathy as they contribute to the problem.

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