Unresponsive Children and Powerless Adults

Cocreators of Affectively Uncertain Caregiving Environments
  • Daphne Blunt Bugental
Part of the Genesis of Behavior book series (GOBE, volume 5)


Picture a common scene in a pediatrician’s office. The waiting room is filled with an assortment of parents and children engaged in a variety of interactions. One set of parents is absorbed in magazines while their 4-year-old wanders through the room talking to everyone. A mother has her daughter close at her side as she points out magazine pictures to the child. Another mother is engaged in active combat with a 7-year-old boy who appears intent on touching every object in the room and getting onto or under every piece of furniture. “Johnny, leave that alone,” she implores plaintively in a weak voice. Johnny glances at her briefly but ignores her. She smiles nervously and comments to the woman in the next chair, “Boys. You can’t do anything with them. You’re lucky you have a girl. She sits there so nice and quiet.”


Child Behavior Attributional Style Adult Behavior Visual Behavior Parental Belief 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daphne Blunt Bugental
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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