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Volume 5, Issue 2 (1976)

Developmental Changes in Response to Frustration Among Physically Handicapped Children

pp. 25—29

It is clear that the physically handicapped child is exposed to more frustrating and potentially anger arousing situations than other children because of the real limitations on his activity. However, his response to such frustrations has been a source of disagreement among theorists. One position maintains that the handicapped child is less likely to express anger directly. Barker (1954) has suggested that the handicapped child is likely to blame his parents for his affliction and while this is likely to give rise to hostility, hostile impulses are likely to be repressed, laying the basis for anxiety and accompanying guilt feelings. Kessler (1966) has reasoned similarly, stating that the child may perceive his condition as a punishment for aggressive feelings. If this is the case, the child might well be reluctant to express such aggressive feelings for fear of further reprisals.

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