ERIC Number: ED228580
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Parent, Child and Observer Gender as Determinants of Perceived Abuse.
Tennen, Howard; Herzberger, Sharon D.
Despite the recognized importance of contextual factors influencing the perception of child abuse, investigators have often neglected the study of factors such as the gender of the parent, the child, or the observer in determining which parental behaviors will be considered abusive. To assess the role of gender in perceptions of abuse, college students (44 males and 42 females) rated parents' behavior in 8 case studies. Students were asked to judge the severity and appropriateness of the parents' behavior, and to indicate whether they regarded the behavior as child abuse. Results indicated that the gender of the child, parent, and observer did interact to determine observers' evaluations of parental behavior and the determination of the label child abuse. Daughter-directed discipline delivered by fathers was more likely to be labeled as child abuse. Females perceived the same parental behavior as more severe, less appropriate, more detrimental and more abusive than did males. While maternal abuse may be most devastating from the child's perspective, adult observers assumed that paternal abuse, particularly when directed at girls, was most detrimental. These biases may affect reports of abusive incidents. (PAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982).