Insight is all,"" the author maintains in this quick but not cursory overview of child abuse. Inglis, a journalist, includes...

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SINS OF THE FATHERS

Insight is all,"" the author maintains in this quick but not cursory overview of child abuse. Inglis, a journalist, includes within her broad devinition not just the obvious physical violence but also emotional injury--from indifference, manipulation, or such potentially destructive parental behaviors as divorce. This is a highly compact survey: historical attitudes toward children and the recent development of treatment protocols are traced, and some characteristics of abusive parents and victimized children are concisely indicated. In addition, seminal figures are given due credit: such early influential theorists as Daniel Schreber (a cold-water enthusiast) and Truby King (a germ-free crusader); Denver's Henry Kempe, who has demonstrated not just the battered child syndrome but also parental responsiveness to intervention; and family therapy pioneers from Dorothy Burlingham and Anna Freud to Nathan Ackerman and Salvador Minuchin. Inglis also introduces key concepts (community surveillance) and recurring patterns of behavior, comments briefly on cases in which bureaucratic bungling and procrastination failed to forestall abuse, and repeatedly insets pointed observations into the text--how the families of schizophrenics often chatter cryptically, or how parents publicizing unusual post-divorce lifestyles may be more exhibitionistic than child-centered. Like the Kempes' Child Abuse (p. 790), this is, for all its dreary particulars, encouraging in the long run; and with its British and American examples and historical references, it offers a somewhat wider perspective.

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1978