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Social and Cultural Aspects of Child Abuse

Info: 2428 words (10 pages) Example Literature Review
Published: 6th Dec 2019

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Tagged: Social Work


In the article he discussed that children are a very vulnerable sector of our society. Child abuse can occur in every sector of our society, but some children are at a higher risk for abuse. The reason behind the research is to find out what is child abuse and to know the different forms of physical abuses. D.P.Noe said Children are at an increased risk for abuse if they were a product of an unwanted pregnancy, or have parents that are still children themselves. There is an increased risk for child abuse if the parents of a child have history of being abused when they were children. or are have been brought up in a home with domestic violence. Single parents or parents with a drug or alcohol problems put a child at a higher risk for abuse. Certain socioeconomic levels such as children living in poverty place them at a higher risk for abuse. The different types of physical abuses discussed by the author are


May present with torn frenulum, petechiae, dental trauma.


Periorbital bruising may suggest a globe injury or orbital fracture. Retinal hemorrhages may occur with significant head injury.


May present with external injury (hematoma, laceration, ecchymoses), increased head circumference, bulging fontanelle, and/or change in mental status.


Abdominal trauma

Bruising on the abdomen may not always be present with blunt injury


May present with bruises that are patterned, multiple bruises of different ages, bruising in a non-ambulatory child, burns, and lacerations.

The reason behind the research is to know the role of the family life educator that how child abuse can be prevented by the family itself. He said there are different programs to prevent child abuse there are school based programs, Schools are in a unique position to address the child abuse problem through school based programs. School based programs should stress the primary prevention of child abuse by basing content on the cultural forces contributing to abuse. He describe some teaching suggestion in the article which are effective in a family life education program emphasizing the teaching of positive discipline as a primary prevention method for child abuse for example Invite student perspective on the topic of discipline, Invite students to share their feelings with the class. Further more he discussed that what question should be asked by the student and how should they be treated. The role of the teachers. He said equally important is the need to develop activities that will provide students with an opportunity to confront feelings about discipline issues and to learn discipline and guidance strategies that help children develop social competence.

The reason behind the research is to know the reason why and how child abuse occur in step families. Evidence from the cases suggests that stepparents are overrepresented among abusers. Jean Giles-Sims and David Finkelhor explained five theories that have been used to explain this presumed relationship. The theories are: social-evolutionary, normative, stress, selection and resource theory. Author also discussed Stepparents and Natural Parents as Perpetrators In Three Types of Child Abuse (physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse). According to his research step mother conduct more physical and emotional abuse. The social-evolutionary (sometimes referred to as socio-biological) perspective predicts that stepchildren are more likely to be both physically and sexually abused than natural children, using different arguments to explain each type of abuse. According to the normative theory of sexual abuse by stepparents is consistent with a social-evolutionary perspective which argues that the justification of incest taboos is to avoid genetic degradation. However, the normative argument does not require a biologically based assumption. In the stress theory it is stated that stepfamilies experience stress, and that stress is related to child abuse. In the selection factor theory author said that it may be that the same factors which make people prone to divorce and remarriage also make them prone to abuse children. It may be that the same factors which make people prone to divorce and remarriage also make them prone to abuse children. Resource theory is the final theoretical approach which explains higher rates of child abuse by stepparents. According to this theory, the more resources a person can command, the more power and authority that person has at his/her disposal to regulate a social system.

the reason for conducting this research is to analyse the Ethical dilemmas that are commonly encountered in family sexual abuse cases. In the research the primary ethical problems faced by marital and family therapists working with families in which child sexual abuse is suspected or has occurred are examined. The sexual abuse of children is most frequently perpetrated by males upon females, with stepfather or biological father/daughter molestation being the most commonly reported form of abuse. Kitchener (1984) and Thompson (1990) suggest that the practitioner turn to the following six general ethical principles to guide ethical decision making: autonomy, fidelity, Justice, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and self-interest. These provide a framework for considering the specific ethical dilemmas encountered by family therapists who are confronted with child sexual abuse. Author also discussed the therapeutic treatment of abuse it is recommended that sexual abuse treatment with these families not be undertaken without specialized training and supervision (Principle .6). The therapist may need to refer the family, a process that can be facilitated by helping the clients understand that this action affirms the therapeutic promise to promote their welfare. Awareness of the meta-ethical principles involved in working with these families can help to identify where principles may conflict.

The reason for the study is to identify economic and cultural generative factors of child abuse. There are special circumstances affecting the occurrence of child maltreatment, such as parental youth and inexperience, parental discord and divorce, adoption, and problematic child attributes, which are explored in the research. The evidence for intergenerational transmission of abuse is also examined. The few prospective studies that have used quantitative methods have yielded mixed results, with two (Johannesson, 1974; Sears, 1961) reporting no evidence for an association between corporal punishment and child aggression, and (Lefkowitz, Eron, Walder, & Huesmann, 1977 McCord, 1979 Singer, Singer, & Rapaczynski, 1984) find a positive association. The reason why parents maltreat their children are parents own background, economic position. Economic factors leads to economic stress, Economic stress generated depression and demoralization in parents, which in turn resulted in marital conflict and “bad’ parenting-harsh, inconsistent discipline and hostile rejection or non involvement. Divorce is also the reason for the maltreatment of children by parents. Low income and single parents also become the reason for the child abuse. Data obtained from research with non abusive middle-class families. The research also focuses on facets of responsiveness (warmth, reciprocity, attachment) and demanding ness (coer- civeness, confrontation, monitoring, supervision, consistent discipline, corporal punishment) (Maccoby & Martin, 1983). Compared to parents from non abusive families, parents from both abusive and neglectful families can be expected to be less responsive and neglectful parents to also be less demanding.

The reason for conducting the research is to find the exact relationship between stress and child abuse despite the fact that stress contributes to child abuse. Author discussed three models postulating the influence of stress on child abuse phenomenological model, life change model, and social model. In phenomenological model describe that an early formulation of the stress and child abuse relationship, suggests that abusive behaviour is unleashed by figurative or solid incidents perceived as stressful by adults who are vulnerable to abuse from inadequate upbringings. Stress arises when an incident is judged to be personally threatening. Assessing the threat, including risks to self-esteem and physical comfort, occurs after the individual inventories his or her personal resources for coping. The usefulness of the phenomenological model is limited by its lack of ability to identify unique characteristics of the situation or the abuser. Such constraints as cultural factors, for one, contribute to abuse. In the life chain model describe the connection between stress and abuse. This model posits a series of changes in life situation as contributing to the potential to abuse. It also assumes that physical and psychological stress processes are equivalent. The life change model is as follows:

The social model describes another explanation of the connection between child abuse and stress. Child abuse is largely a function of the stresses of poverty, the social model rests on accumulating evidence from child abuse researchers that diminished social or ecological resources accompany poverty and increase child maltreatment among the poor. members of lower socioeconomic groups are exposed to more stressful events than members of higher socioeconomic groups and that the poor are more helpless to the impact of those events. Social isolation is manifest in child abuse. In short phenomenological, life change and social models of stress in child abuse explains that stress in part arises from personal appraisals, cross-sectional life disruptions, and environmental deprivations.

This research is done to analyse the different effects of demographic, social, and economic factors on the number of child abuse and there are neglect reports in 18 urban, suburban, and rural counties over a period of 6 years. The analytic portion of this research consists of two parts. The first tests hypotheses about the effect of each independent variable on the dependent variable, child abuse and neglect reports.

The model is separately tested for the urban, suburban, and rural counties. The second part uses the independent variables to determine the extent to which the model replicates actual data in each type of county.

The time-series approach is used to analyse the growth of child abuse. Eighteen of 58 urban, suburban, and rural counties were selected for analysis.

Child labor has become an important discussion topic and that how children’s rights may be protected as globalization has increased so has concern for children’s rights and child labor..

Most societies believe that if children will work they will learn more but conditions that are detrimental to their health is an area of concern. Children who are appreciated by their families are able to learn more an in a less stressful manner compared to those who are not praised and whose work is also not praised. Many conventions have been held by ILO to de motivate those who employ children and force them to work in hazardous conditions. Some international organizations have also been trying to create awareness about children’s rights. In every country organizations are working for rights of child. New institutions are opened to guide the people. UNICEF and various nongovernmental organizations are working to protect Convention on the Rights of the Children and its effective implementation

There are several forms of child abuse and the one which has received most concern is the battered child syndrome. There are six main types of abuses that have been discussed including physical abuse and physical neglect. The reason for child abuse could be that as a child the abuser was also maltreated by his parents for not meeting their demands. Such children when marry look for spouses who have been through similar experiences during their child hood.

Parents sometimes have unrealistic expectations from their children and when the child is unable to meet these demands the parents become frustrated and become abusive towards the child. Adolescents aged 12 to 17 account for 20% of the abuse and neglect cases. These children can be treated with the help of the family and several different community services. Although the aim of the treatment is to protect the child but it also focuses on the parents.

Abusive parents have problems asking for help thus a reporting system can generate better results. Suspected child abuse may be directed by observing a sick or injured child with his parents or by listening to parent’s explanation of injuries. Parents should be told of places from where they can receive help for parenting their child in a better manner. The emotional aspects of parenting should be incorporated into parental training classes as well as into all other types of parenting education. Family life courses and family planning clinics should inform people of the responsibilities negative along with positive.

The American public health association adopted policies to prevent child abuse as a problem which has significant health problems. The cost of child maltreatment has significant and long lasting effects. Cultural acceptance for child abuse is seen in schools in the form of punishments and abuse by parents and neighbors is seen as a problem.

Thus measures should be taken to reduce acceptance for child abuse and violence. Coordinated efforts of the public sector and the private sector shall be taken in order to create awareness about the responsibility. Training programs should also be held in order to reduce abuse against children in an effective manner. These programs need funding and support to become more affordable by the society.

A conclusion that the article with draws is that those children who have been abused as a child tend to become child or spouse abusers themselves thus research shows that child abuse is directly related to family stress, financial problems and single parenting responsibilities.

Child abuse can only be prevented with the help and cooperation of all the sectors private and public including public health, law and order and educational institutes.

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Social Work is a profession that focuses on improving the well-being of individuals, encouraging positive relationships in communities, and improving people's lives. Social Work can relate to human behaviour, social behaviour, and various aspects of the community.

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