FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH HOSTILITY AND PUNITIVENESS AMONG MOTHERS OF RETARDED CHILDREN (ANGER)
WOLSON, ALICE KANE
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This is a descriptive study whose purpose is to identify the factors associated with hostility and a tendency towards punitiveness in a group of mothers of retarded children.;The two major hypotheses of the study are: that mothers with a childhood history of emotional deprivation are likely to be hostile and punitive; and that mothers with low self esteem, unstable self images and depressed affect are likely to be hostile and punitive.;The respondents were recruited from the Children's Unit of St. Agnes Hospital in White Plains, New York. The function of the unit is to evaluate developmentally disabled youngsters. Four hundred and fifty families with children over three years of age were contacted by a letter requesting volunteers to participate in the study.;Represented in the final sample were fifty-four mothers whose children were between the ages of three and fourteen and who presented with a wide variety of handicapping conditions and who were either moderately retarded, mildly retarded or considered to be slow learners.;The instrument used was a semi-structured interview administered by the researcher and a written questionnaire completed by the respondent.;The questionnaire included the following standardized scales: The Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale, the Stability of Self Scale, the Depressed Affect Scale, the Buss Durkee Hostility Inventory, The Punishment Index and the Judgment of Punishment Scale.;Two of the family background factors: a mother's poor relationship with her own mother and a mother's close relationship with her own father were significantly associated with punitiveness. The characteristics of low self esteem and instability of self were significantly associated with hostility, and depressed affect almost reached the level of significance. Other variables explored revealed uneven results.
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