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Margaret G. Spinelli
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Maternal infanticide, or the murder of a child in its first year of life by its mother, elicits sorrow, anger, horror, and outrage. But the perpetrator is often a victim, too.
The editor of this revealing work asks us to reach beyond rage, stretch the limits of compassion, and enter the minds of mothers who kill their babies-with the hope that advancing the knowledge base and stimulating inquiry in this neglected area of maternal-infant research will save young lives.
Written to help remedy today's dearth of up-to-date, research-based literature, this unique volume brings together a multidisciplinary group of 17 experts who focus on the psychiatric perspective of this tragic cause of infant death.
The first of four parts introduces historical and epidemiological data. Part II discusses the psychiatric, psychological, cultural, and biological underpinnings of infanticide, detailing how to identify, evaluate, and treat postpartum psychiatric disorders. Contemporary legislation, criminal defenses, and disparate treatment in the U.S. law are described in Part III and compared with the United Kingdom's model of probation and treatment. Part IV focuses on clinical experience with mothers as perpetrators and countertransference in therapy, mother-infant interactions (from healthy to pathological), and methods of early intervention and prevention.
This balanced perspective on a highly emotional issue will find a wide audience among psychiatric and medical professionals (child, clinical, and forensic psychiatrists and psychologists; social workers; obstetricians/gynecologists and midwives; nurses; and pediatricians), legal professionals (judges, attorneys, law students), public health professionals, and interested laypersons.
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