n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Parental substance abuse and child abuse : a reply to Collings : focus on familial substance abuse




In Collings' (this issue) reply to Ovens' article on the linkages between parental substance abuse and child abuse, a number of valid points are made with regard to future studies of familial substance abuse and the link to child abuse or neglect. The use of multivariate forms of analysis to study parental substance abuse and child abuse is in fact critical to a wider understanding of the problem, especially within a multidimensional paradigm. In essence South African researchers need to apply far more sophisticated research designs when studying the relationship between substance abuse and child maltreatment. The concept of family and the structures thereof vary across different communities and racial groups, with these differences having implications for research dealing with family dynamics. Thus, the concept of the family must first be defined and contextualised before such research is undertaken.


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