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Putting words to child physical abuse: Possible consequences, the process of disclosure, and effects of treatment. From children’s perspectives
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5560-363x
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aim: The overall aim of the thesis is to explore the experiences and possible consequences concerning reported health and relations between a parent perpetrator of physical child abuse and the children who are victims of the parental physical abuse, the children’s thoughts when disclosing the abuse, and the impact of an intervention designed to support these children in a Swedish context – Combined Parent Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CPC-CBT). Methods: This thesis has a mix-method design. Study I and IV used different self-assessment scales, and the outcomes were analysed using descriptive statistics, paired-samples t test, independent t test, ANOVA, Pearson correlations, and hierarchical linear regression. Study II and III consisted of interviews with 15 (Study II) and 20 (Study III) children, respectively. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The results suggest that experiencing child physical abuse affects the relationship between a parent and a child as well as the child’s wellbeing in several ways. However, the results also suggest that participating in the CPC-CBT intervention could decrease parents’ use of violence and increase the child’s wellbeing. In addition, the results suggest that trust and participation influence whether a child discloses abuse and contributes to the success of treatment. Conclusion: The CPC-CBT could be seen as a successful turning point for the participating children, shifting from one trajectory (living in fear of violence) to another (living without fear). Furthermore, when children disclose to adults about their physical abuse, it is important that the adults recognise the children’s participatory rights and strive to earn their trust.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2019.
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 351/2019
Keywords [en]
child physical abuse, disclosure, participation, CPC-CBT, intervention
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-82396ISBN: 978-91-88898-57-9 (print)ISBN: 978-91-88898-58-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-82396DiVA, id: diva2:1313183
Public defence
2019-05-24, IKEA, Hus N, Växjö, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-05-03 Created: 2019-05-02 Last updated: 2019-07-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Youth Reports of Parental Strategies and Sense of Coherence: Are Experiences of Being Victim of Physical Abuse Reflected?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Youth Reports of Parental Strategies and Sense of Coherence: Are Experiences of Being Victim of Physical Abuse Reflected?
2019 (English)In: Young - Nordic Journal of Youth Research, ISSN 1103-3088, E-ISSN 1741-3222, Vol. 27, no 5, p. 502-519Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores adolescent’s reports of parental strategies and sense of coherence (SOC). Building on the suggested impact of child physical abuse, this study compares reports from a group of physically abused youth and a group of non-abused youth. Independent t-test, correlations and hierarchical linear regression analysis were computed. Findings indicate that parents’ use of corporal punishment could affect how youth report their parent’s parental strategies. Physically abused youth report less parental involvement and positive parenting as well as more inconsistent parenting than non-abused youth. Furthermore, physically abused youth report a significant lower SOC than non-abused youth. Being a victim of physical abuse had a unique contribution on SOC, even after controlling for other parental strategies. Taken together, the results suggest that child physical abuse affects both the youth’s inner SOC as well as their reports of parental strategies in several ways. Implications for practice are discussed in this article.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019
Keywords
Child physical abuse, parental strategies, sense of coherence, Alabama Parenting Questionnaire (APQ), comparison
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-79136 (URN)10.1177/1103308818801724 (DOI)000485994500005 ()
Available from: 2018-12-09 Created: 2018-12-09 Last updated: 2019-10-03Bibliographically approved
2. Children's disclosure of physical abuse – the process of disclosing and the responses from social welfare workers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Children's disclosure of physical abuse – the process of disclosing and the responses from social welfare workers
2019 (English)In: Child care in practice, ISSN 1357-5279Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Children experiencing physical abuse by their parents are left with several difficult decisions. The present study aims at exploring the process of disclosing the abuse and the responses from social welfare workers from a child perspective, in a Swedish context. Data was obtained from in depth interviews with 15 children with a history of child physical abuse. A qualitative content analysis was conducted in order to capture the children's experiences. Disclosing abuse was described as a process including several judgements from the child. Children describe their everyday life before disclosing, with an escalation of violence making them think they have to act in order to prevent further abuse. They made several well-thought decisions and selected a trustworthy recipient. The decision to disclose was often made out of fear, but the fear could remain after the disclosure, not knowing what will happen next. Children seem to lose control over how their abuse narratives are handled after disclosing. The recipient and social welfare worker was acting but not informing or consulting the child. Children emphasize the importance of trustworthy and competent adults when disclosing physical abuse. Ethical issues and implications for practice are discussed.

Practitioner messages

  • Disclosure is to be seen as a process, including several judgements by the child.

  • Children emphasize the importance of trustworthy and competent adults when choosing to disclose physical abuse.

  • Social welfare workers should inform and include children in their decision making.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019
Keywords
Child physical abuse, disclosure, participation, child welfare service
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-82395 (URN)10.1080/13575279.2018.1555139 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-05-02 Created: 2019-05-02 Last updated: 2019-06-12
3. Children's experiences with an intervention aimed to prevent further physical abuse
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Children's experiences with an intervention aimed to prevent further physical abuse
2019 (English)In: Child & Family Social Work, ISSN 1356-7500, E-ISSN 1365-2206, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 17-24Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although many children across cultures are victims of physical abuse, few treatment models target these children and their parents. In Sweden, Combined Parent-Child Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for families at risk for child physical abuse has been successfully used according topretreatment and posttreatment studies. However, few studies have explored how physically abused children experience treatment. This study includes 20 physically abused children aged 9-17 who completed Combined Parent-Child Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Children had a positive overall impression of the treatment and highlighted addressing the abuse, as well as processing their experiences as particularly essential. Children described a positive transformation in their family life as a result of treatment, including violence cessation and bonding among family members. Children experienced the intervention as inclusive and child-friendly. The implications of the promising findings are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2019
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-79134 (URN)10.1111/cfs.12476 (DOI)000455514400003 ()2-s2.0-85047638384 (Scopus ID)
Funder
The Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority, 08614/2012
Available from: 2018-12-09 Created: 2018-12-09 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved
4. Outcomes of CPC-CBT in Sweden Concerning Psychosocial Well-Being and Parenting Practice: Children’s Perspectives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Outcomes of CPC-CBT in Sweden Concerning Psychosocial Well-Being and Parenting Practice: Children’s Perspectives
2019 (English)In: Research on social work practice, ISSN 1049-7315, E-ISSN 1552-7581Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study explores the outcome of the intervention combined parent child–cognitive behavioral therapy (CPC-CBT) for physically abused children. This study includes a clinical sample of children (n = 62) referred to Child Welfare Service due to reports of child physical abuse who completed CPC-CBT. A pretest/posttest design was applied to assess changes on the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) after treatment and was compared with normative values. In addition, the occurrence of corporal punishment from pre to posttest was explored.

Children reported a significant decrease in parental use of corporal punishment after treatment and a significant reduction in symptoms associated with trauma (decreased to normal values for TSCC). The positive changes remained at the 6-month follow-up.

The CPC-CBT intervention seemed to decrease parental use of corporal punishment and increase the well-being of children. Clinical implications are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-82030 (URN)10.1177/1049731519843352 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-04-18 Created: 2019-04-18 Last updated: 2019-05-06

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