MBP: father as the perpetrator

I wanted to figure out in what case of MBP the perpetrator was the father. It wasn’t the easiest search because most cases are the mothers but I finally came across a case study where the abuser was the father. The case was about a newborn with repeated episodes of apnea and seizures requiring home monitoring, multiple hospital admissions, and diagnostic procedures within the first few months of her life. It was always the father that reported symptoms and essentially induced all the abuse upon his daughter. Until the episodes were actually witnessed by the nursing staff, there was suspicion that the father was exaggerating symptoms due to the fact that test results never showed up as positive indicators of permanent damage to the child. In comparison to other cases, the father was the more dominant parent but was not overly friendly to the nurses and became accusatory towards the staff about his daughters condition. He also made the mother out to be the indifferent parent. This is one isolated case, though it was interesting to find that it can be the father and the reasoning or rationale behind it was the same for both sexes.

3 thoughts on “MBP: father as the perpetrator

  1. I find it interesting that the father’s attitude towards the staff was so different than that of the mothers we read about. I assumed if motivating factors were the same then they would approach the task similarly- i.e. use ingratiation. I wonder if this is a constant pattern and would reveal a sex difference, or if this just reflects the personality of the one man in the case study. It would be interesting to find more of these cases and see if there is a trend.


  2. I wonder if this father (and if there are any more out there) had a similar background to the mothers we read about….as in if he had been in the medical field but was either fired or failed a test. I also wonder if the sex of the child makes any difference to the parent.


  3. Those are both great points, Sam and Kelsey. I think it would be interesting to recognize whether the befriending the staff thing is specific to the MBP mothers only, and why that is the case. I would also wonder how the neural circuitry of MBP parents differs from your typical parent; is it provoked by atypical releases of dopamine? Is it motivated by anxiety? What are the parental gender differences in circuitry?


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