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Children at risk of maltreatment: Factors associated with pre-school teacher’s temporary and lasting concern for children’s home situation and support within the pre-school activities
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences. (Folkhälsovetenskap)
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aim: The aim was to investigate factors related to pre-school teacher’s temporary and lasting concern for children’s home situation and the extent to which these children are in need of special support in preschool and/or are reported to the CPA.

Method:Data were used from a Swedish prospective study (the SOFIA-study) on children’s health and development concerning 2,121 pre-school children’s, born during 3 years (2005-2007). Questionnaires were answered by pre-school teachers and parents in a baseline study in 2010 and a follow up in 2011. Four groups were compared: no concern for the children’s home situation (85 %), newly arising concern (6 %), past concern (5 %) and lasting concern (4 %).

Result:When pre-school teachers express concern for the children´s home situation they also more often express concern for the children´s health and development as well as a lower quality of the contact with the parents. Concern for the children´s home situation was also related to lower socio-demographic status of the families, i.e., the families had a lower SES, parents were more often born outside of Sweden, and they had lower education. According to all these factors, there were stepwise differences from no concern, over temporary concern (newly arising or past concern) to lasting concern for the children’s home situation. The same pattern was also seen for the frequency of need of special support in preschool with 7% in the no concern group, 20% in the temporary concern and 37% in the lasting concern group. Reports to the Child Protection Agency were made in a minority of the cases, and most frequent when there was a lasting concern for the children’s home situation (23 %).

Conclusion:Pre-school teachers’ temporary and lasting concern for children’s home situation can be understood from a broad perspective on the children’s health and development, as well as different aspects in the contact between pre-school teachers and parents and the socio-demographic status of the families. Need of special support in pre-school were common when concern for the children’s home situation, which highlight the possibility to also develop and integrate support to the parents within the pre-school activities.

Keyword [en]
Child maltreatment, pre-school, prevention
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-26454OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-26454DiVA: diva2:607200
Available from: 2013-02-22 Created: 2013-02-22 Last updated: 2014-03-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Barn som riskerar att fara illa i sin hemmiljö: Utmaningar i ett förebyggande perspektiv
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Barn som riskerar att fara illa i sin hemmiljö: Utmaningar i ett förebyggande perspektiv
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Children at risk of maltreatment : Challenges in a preventive perspective
Abstract [sv]

Baksidestext

Barnmisshandel är ett omfattande folkhälsoproblem med långsiktiga negativa konsekvenser för den enskilda individen och för samhället i stort. Förebyggande insatser kan vara livsavgörande för de utsatta barnen. Denna avhandlings övergripande syfte var att öka kunskapen om barn som riskerar att fara illa i sin hemmiljö samt att identifiera utmaningar i ett förebyggande perspektiv. Två områden har studerats:

(1) Våld mot barn med långvarig sjukdom/funktionsnedsättning

(2) Förskolan som upptäckande och stödjande arena

Gemensamt för inriktningarna är att barn med långvarig sjukdom/funktionsnedsättning och barn i förskoleåldern utgör särskilt sårbara grupper, som löper ökad risk att fara illa i sin hemmiljö. De har också unik kontakt med professionella med möjlighet att upptäcka och agera vid oro.

Avhandlingen bygger på fyra delstudier; en nationell kartläggning riktad till skolelever, en intervjustudie med föräldrar samt två förskolestudier. Resultaten från studierna diskuteras utifrån identifierade utmaningar i ett förebyggande perspektiv. Utmaningarna inkluderar emotionella hinder samt behov av ett mer nyanserat och proaktivt förhållningssätt för att kunna utveckla tidiga insatser till barn och föräldrar.

Abstract [en]

The aim with this thesis was to increase the knowledge about children at risk of maltreatment and to identify challenges in a preventive perspective. Two areas have been studied; Physical abuse of children with chronic conditions/disabilities and Detection and support within the pre-school environment. 

Four data sets were used: a national survey of school children (I), an in-depth interview study with parents (II) and two pre-school studies (III, IV).

I-II: Chronic conditions in children increase the risk for physical abuse, but vary with socio-economic circumstances. The highest risk for physical abuse was found among children with chronic conditions born outside Sweden. The subsequent study revealed direct risk factors related to parent and child (emotional demands in precarious situations), and indirect risk factors related to parent and professional (gradual shift in responsibility and emotionally closed environment) and social norms (taboo on talking about abuse).

III-IV: Preschool staff suspected child maltreatment for two percent of the preschool children. In less than half of the cases, the parents were informed and a report to social services was made in a third of the cases. The most common reason for not making a report was that the staff believed that the pre-school had sufficient resources to help the child. In the subsequent study, preschool teachers’ concerns about the child’s home environment were explored in a broader perspective over a one year period. The study showed that concern for the children’s home situation related to increased concern for several aspects of children’s health and development, increased need of special support in preschool, insufficient contact with parents, and lower parental socioeconomic status.

The results are discussed according to identified challenges in a preventive perspective. These include emotional obstacles for prevention and a need for a more nuanced and proactive professional approach to enable early support to children at risk of maltreatment and their parents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2013
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2013:13
Keyword
Children at risk of maltreatment, Child abuse, prevention, pre-school, chronic health condition, disabilities, detection, support
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-26456 (URN)978-91-7063-488-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-04-26, Lagerlöfsalen, 1A 305, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-04-05 Created: 2013-02-22 Last updated: 2013-04-05Bibliographically approved

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