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VulnerabilityNew Essays in Ethics and Feminist Philosophy$
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Catriona Mackenzie, Wendy Rogers, and Susan Dodds

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199316649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199316649.001.0001

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Children, Vulnerability, and Emotional Harm

Children, Vulnerability, and Emotional Harm

(p.266) 11 Children, Vulnerability, and Emotional Harm

Amy Mullin

Oxford University Press

Children are vulnerable because they need care not only to survive but also to develop their basic physical, intellectual and emotional capacities. Since children depend heavily on care provided by a limited number of intimate caregivers, they are particularly vulnerable to those who provide their care, vulnerability that is exacerbated when they are neglected or abused. This essay analyzes children's emotional needs in order to identify when their inherent emotional vulnerability is pathogenically increased by maltreatment. It develops a version of care theory informed by close attention to the vulnerability of both those who receive and those who give care. This approach provides a resource to identify pathogenic causes of children's emotional vulnerability and to make recommendations for change with respect to monitoring and supporting the care required to meet children's emotional needs.

Keywords:   vulnerability, children, abuse, neglect, care theory, emotional harm

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