Exploring risk for abuse of children with chronic conditions or disabilities: parent’s perceptions of stressors and the role of professionals
2013 (English)In: Child Care Health and Development, ISSN 0305-1862, E-ISSN 1365-2214, Vol. 39, no 6, 887-893 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: Children with chronic conditions or disabilities are at an increased risk for abuse. High-levels of parental stress have been identified as possible trigger for abuse, where a combination of several factors are of importance, such as lack of social support and limited resources in the neighborhood. Suggestions for preventive measures have merely focused on parenting strategies and targeted intervention programs. So far, little attention has been paid to how the risk for abuse might relate to parent’s perceptions of stressors and the role of professionals. The purpose of the current study was therefore to explore risk factors for abuse with focus on both parent-child and parent-professional relationships.
Method:Semi-structured in-depth interviews with 15 parents of children with chronic conditions or disabilities were collected and analysed according to qualitative content analysis.
Findings:Three major themes were found that could be seen as risk factors for child abuse: 1) Emotional demands in precarious situations between parent and child. 2) Gradual shift in responsibility from professionals to parents concerning access to and coordination of service and support. 3) Emotionally closed environment between professionals and parents and taboo on talking about abuse. The gradual shift in responsibility had emotional implications, which could reinforce parental stress and thereby also indirect increase the risk of child abuse. The gradual shift in responsibility also seemed to generate an emotionally closed environment and reinforce the taboo on talking about abuse, which in turn hindered preventive measures. 2
Conclusions:In the light of parent’s perceptions of stressors and the role of professionals the findings indicate that abuse against children with chronic conditions or disability is not only a family matter, but also depending on qualities in service, professional support and social norms. The result pinpoints three challenges for preventive measures, all with emotional implications; parental strategies, organisational efforts and cultural awareness.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 39, no 6, 887-893 p.
abuse, child disability, chronic health condition, prevention
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject Public Health Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-26455DOI: 10.1111/cch.12030ISI: 000325138300017ScopusID: 23461758OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-26455DiVA: diva2:607202