Researchers: Nick McRee, Mary E. Haskett, Jason C. Allaire, Shawn Kreig, Kendra C. Hart, Takeo Fujiwara, Makiko Okuyama, Mari Kasahara, and Ayako Nakamura
Reviewed by: Nasim Ameri, Rose Yejha, and Angelique Noel
October 14, 2008
Psyc 308 UMBC
Intro- Blended Households
Issue: abused and neglected children and the types of families they live in.
Homes with the child, mother and boyfriend were expected to have more reports. (Companion parents)
A child getting hit a belt from parent is usually the primary thought for abuse.
Goal: Study variation of abuse in non-related parent figures
Importance: inform researcher and readers of where most child abuse is taking place and in what types of families.
hypothesized that adopted parents will show lower evidence of abuse in comparison to stepparents.
Forms of neglect
Method Blended Households
Large sample of runaway/homeless youth
Info on health and human services
Collected demographic, problems w/youth and family structure
Evidence of sexual/physical abuse and victimization risk
Calculate abuse risk
Grouped by type of parent
Results – Blended Households Female 56.1% Non-Hispanic White 65% No mothers 8% No father figure 33% In program reason unspecified 48% Contemplating run away 7% Homeless 9% Runaways 35% Status Percentage
Results 1 Sexual abuse
Households that had non-related parents was a sign of higher risk for sexual abuse to the youth.
One natural parent and a relative had low evidence or risk.
Natural parent/adopted parent = 1.2% more cases.
Natural/Stepparent = 3.6% more cases.
Natural/Cohabiting = 12.1%fewer cases.
Results 1 physical abuse
Adopted parents = 13.7% fewer cases
Stepparents = 0.8% fewer cases
Natural/cohabiting parent = 5.0% more
Objective of research
UK and US vs. Japan
The researchers hypothesized that due to the health system in Japan the characteristics of victims and perpetrators of MSBP could be effected.
Top 11 doctors in child abuse, Japan
Variables of victims
Sex, age, duration of abuse, developmental disorder, family structure, medical background
Type of MSBP and symptoms
Most of the victims were males.
More than half the victims were 4yrs
Most of the perpetrators were biological mothers
More than half the perpetrators had mental disorders
Most cases were confirmed by seperating parent and child
70% of victims didn’t get an education opportunity
Often the child is found dead.
Correlation between physical abuse and problems with aggression/behavior
Physical discipline is correlated with aggression and behavior in the European American children.
Physical discipline and adjustment problems, show a weak relationship in African American children. There aren’t many reports on aggression bad behavior.
Focus of study: predictors of social adjustment for abused and non-abused children
Intro - Ethnicity
No difference on the bases of ethnicity for physical abuse.
There is a difference in ethnicity when it comes to physical discipline.
Intro- Ethnicity (Parenting)
Children with warm and responsive parents show empathy and cooperation, they are looked in a positive way by their peers and are involved in less activities demonstrating mal behavior.
Spanking a child will increase the behavior when the parents have low emotional support
Spanking will decrease behavior when parents have high emotional support
78 children w/ reported physical abuse/ abusive parents
75 non abused children w/ one parent
Abusive parents were from CPS through a letter
Other group of parents were informed through flyers each was screened
Phone interview, administration, CPS review
Parent/child interaction was observed
Six month after a questionnaire was sent out to the teacher
$75 for participants
Sensitivity of the parent was a main factor in determining aggression.
There was a connection between abuse and ethnicity
Abused and non-abused African American children had no difference in aggressive behavior
Abused European children showed more signs of aggression than non-abused
Non-abused African American children were more aggressive in comparison to non-abused European American children
The purpose of these studies were to compile different ideas that may be linked to child abuse and neglect. It was hypothesized that family structure, ethnicity, and culture play a role in child maltreatment. The hypotheses in these three studies were proven to be true. In the family structure study, researchers observed that abuse risks were higher in households with non-related parents. In the ethnicity study, there was definite connection found between abuse and ethnicity. In the culture study, researchers observed that perpetrators of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy didn’t necessarily have to have a medical background in a country that provides universal medical care such as Japan. These finding are important for understanding underlying causes for child abuse so precautions can be made where possible. Since there are many different kinds of family structures, ethnicities, and cultures, these studies couldn’t possibly obtain statistics from every single one, therefore there were some limitations in these studies.
Food for thought
Fujiwara, T., Okuyama, M., Kasahara, M., Nakamura, A. (2008). Characteristics of hospital-based munchausen syndrome by proxy in japan. Child Abuse and Neglect The International Journal, 32 503-509.
Haskett, M. E., Allaire, J. C., Kreig, S., Hart, K. C. (2008). Protective and vulnerability factors for physically abused children: Effects of ethnicity and parenting context. Child Abuse and Neglect The International Journal, 32 567-576.
McRee, N. (2008). Child abuse in blended households: Reports from runaway and homeless youth. Child Abuse and Neglect The International Journal, 32 449-453.