n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Perceptions of parental practices which place children at-risk for abuse and neglect

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



Children are often the victims of an aggressive society and parents are often the perpetrators or may place the child at-risk for abuse or neglect. The aim of the study was to examine the perceptions of parental practices, which could place children at risk for abuse and neglect. In this study, a cross-sectional comparative design was used to examine and compare parental practices of parents whose children were victims of abuse or neglect. These comparisons were explored across gender, marital status and socioeconomic positions. The sample contained 163 participants (87 mothers and 76 fathers) who were either single or married. Their socio-economic status varied from the lower to the higher income group. The participants completed the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI). The results proposed that there are no significant differences between parents based on socio-economic status and marital status. However, there were significant differences between mothers' and fathers' care and overprotection. Furthermore, mothers were identified as being affectionless controlling in their parenting practices (low care and high overprotection) and fathers as affectionately constraining in their parenting practices (high care and high protection). Implications focus on parents being able to identify their roles and possible risk and protective factors that influence outcomes for children at risk for abuse and neglect. Moreover, when children experience a degree of rejection this may have implications for the child's sense of connectedness. This, in turn, can affect academic, emotional, social and psychological functioning of the child.

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