ERIC Number: EJ731589
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Child Abuse in South Africa: An Examination of How Child Abuse and Neglect Are Defined
Pierce, Lois; Bozalek, Vivienne
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v28 n8 p817-832 Aug 2004
Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore which of 17 categories of child maltreatment South Africans evaluated as most serious and to determine if those working with abuse and neglect evaluated abuse and neglect differently from those who did not. Method: A revised version of Giovannoni and Becerra's [Giovannoni, J., & Becerra, R. (1979). "Defining child abuse". New York: The Free Press] questionnaire exploring the definition of abuse and neglect was completed by 181 residents of Cape Town, South Africa. The new form had 17 categories of child maltreatment, including 4 categories of societal abuse. Respondents were social workers (n = 57), human service workers (n = 42), laypersons (n = 65), and members of the child protection unit of the South African Police (n = 18). ANOVA was used to compare the groups' responses. When significant differences among groups were found, a Bonferroni post hoc test was run to determine differences between groups. Results: The respondents ranked sexual abuse and child prostitution as most serious and housing and child labor as least serious of the 17 categories. There was a significant difference (p is less than or equal to 0.01) between groups on nine categories. When post hoc tests were run, differences were found for eight categories with laypersons generally evaluating categories as significantly more serious than social workers. Conclusions: Reasons for the order of the rankings are discussed, but concern remains that differences in the evaluation of child maltreatment will lead to difficulty in implementing a protocol for identifying and responding to incidents of abuse and neglect.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Child Abuse, Child Neglect, Questionnaires, Statistical Analysis, Sexual Abuse, Housing, Child Labor, Child Welfare, Lay People, Police, Caseworkers, Human Services, Social Work
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Post Hoc Tests; South Africa (Cape Town)