Factors related to the severity of familial physical child abuse in Barbados

Letnie Florine Rock, Fordham University

Abstract

This study employed a convenient sample of 165 substantiated cases of physical child abuse reported to the Child Care Board (Child Welfare Agency) Barbados, between the years 1987-1996. The research examined child, family, community, and cultural characteristics, to determine their relationship to the severity of physical child abuse in Barbadian families. Components of a social interactional model of child abuse were used to explain the concept under study, and research variables were operationalized by taking into consideration the cultural milieu. It was hypothesized that children 12 years of age and under who live in single-parent households were more likely to have more severe physical abuse perpetrated against them by family members than children 12 years of age and under who live in non-single-parent households. A culturally relevant measure for the dependent variable, "severity of physical child abuse", was created using the Q-sort technique (Stephenson, 1953). The main independent variable employed in the data analysis was "type of household".^ The results of the One-way Analysis of Variance which was employed to explain the differences in severity of physical child abuse among the household types (single-parent, nuclear, extended and step-parent), showed that there were no significant differences between households as far as the physical abuse of children was concerned, that is, children in single-parent households appeared to fare no worse than children in other types of households, with respect to the average level of severity of physical abuse perpetrated against them by family members. Some significant relationships were found between variables, these include, a relationship between the health of the perpetrator and the severity of physical abuse, and between the child's previous status with the Agency as a victim of maltreatment and the severity of physical abuse. The findings of the data are discussed in the light of existing research. Limitations of the study, implications for social work, and recommendations for further research of the problem in Barbados, and the Caribbean are also mentioned. ^

Subject Area

Social Work|Sociology, Criminology and Penology|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Letnie Florine Rock, "Factors related to the severity of familial physical child abuse in Barbados" (January 1, 1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9828264.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9828264

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