n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - An examination of the linkages between parental substance abuse and child abuse : focus on familial substance abuse

Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



While much has been written on the topic of child abuse in South Africa, little evidence exists regarding the relationship between parental drug abuse and child abuse. In 1990 Potter-Effron and Potter-Effron examined the relationship between drug abuse and child abuse and identified a definite correlation between the two. There is also evidence to suggest that family members may have more to fear from each other than from total strangers. When a family has a drug dependent member, or members, the chances of interfamilial violence may increase. This article examines the drug / child abuse link and the effect of parental substance abuse on family dynamics. Drug abuse may influence a parent's cognitive abilities and emotions and contribute towards the parent abusing the child. The unique nature and structure of a family with a drug using parent makes it possible for child abuse to take place.

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