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ERIC Number: ED180590
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Sep
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Social Construction of Child Abuse.
Hepworth, H. Philip
Child abuse, a new name for cruelty to children, is a social phenomenon and not a purely psychological one. Historically, most definitions of child abuse have emphasized physical injury to the very young child. The term should be expanded to include children of all ages and to include sexual and psychological as well as physical abuse. The current focus on child abuse has come about partly as a result of the large post-war child population, increased access to medical specialists with improved techniques, and legislation requiring or recommending that suspected cases of abuse be reported to authorities. In the United States, child abuse legislation was implemented with unusual rapidity. Canadian provinces followed suit and the concern about child abuse spread to other countries. It is not clear how much of this problem can be solved by intervention at a societal level. Certainly, educational interventions should not be restricted to the prevention of conception, but should be long-term, inter-generational, and an institutionalized part of social, educational and health programs. Physical punishment of children should be outlawed. Interventions designed on the basis of inconsistent abuse registry data may be misdirected. Provision of preventive child support services throughout early childhood is advised. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada