Assignment Sample on Child Abuse
Child abuse or also referred to as child maltreatment, defines the harming, abuse, ill-treatment, neglect, or deprivation of any child whether emotionally, physically, and sexually. This maltreatment causes emotional risk or arm, injuries, death and there are several types of child abuse. Additionally, child abuse is any type of maltreatment by an adult that is threatening as well as violent for the child including negligence. The types of child abuse include physical abuse, psychological or emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, and sexual abuse. The study aims to child abuse, focusing on a literature review, research paradigms, two research designs, randomized controlled trials, and phenomenology.
1.2 Literature review
The study focuses on the issues identifying childhood gaps that result in serious impairment of a child’s development. The identification of issues is recognized in the study from the area of complexity and the differentiation between the impact of social deprivation and parental inaction. The report discusses several views on the field of child protection within health and the difficulties practitioners face every day in identifying neglect. According to the view of Seddighiet al. (2021), child abuse gradually becomes one of the fundamental issues and it makes a deeply negative impact on various fields. Therefore, the study serves several points on the issues of child use with highlighting the gaps in knowledge.
Child abuse is a major crime that is committed by individuals and leaves a lasting impact on child’s minds. Several studies about abuse and rejection discover that a large number of children across several countries are facing this problem because of poverty. Additionally, sometimes the instability is found in adult’s behavior that is caused by this abuse at the early stage of life. A recent survey says that child abuse in a region is continuously rising from 15 to 40 cases every year for every one thousand adults. As stated by Debowskaet al. (2017), a review acknowledges that child abuse is mostly observed and among the young ones who are less than three years. Regardless, self-governing, distractions, passing parent or family are some key factors behind the occurrence of child abuse.
The leading factors of child abuse are complex and sometimes interwoven with several other issues. Additionally, these issues are far more difficult to understand, identify, or detent than the abuse itself. Negligence or child abuse history during own childhood, anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress, poor weak child-parent relationship increases the risk for child abuse. Additionally, as influenced by Debowskaet al. (2017), socioeconomic stress from unemployment, financial issues, lack of knowledge about childhood development are some factors. Sometimes, lack of parenting skills, support from family members, family stress or crisis caused by divorce, domestic violence, relationship turmoil, mental health issues also escalate the child abuse risks. These factors can result in five key categories of child abuse including physical abuse, sexual abuse, medical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.
Physical abuse consists of snaking, choking, throwing, burning, hitting, and sometimes making a mark or injuries. From a survey, it is found that corporal punishment is increasingly noticed in several countries as a form of physical child abuse. Additionally, emotional abuse provides a silent treatment to the children, yelling or shouting to stop them and mocking a child. Emotional abuse makes the child more anxious as well as afraid and lack of attachment to the family members, showing odd behaviors with aggressiveness. Sexual abuse is another type of child abuse that forces a child into involving sexual activities that includes rape, penetration, dirty jokes. According to the view of Amrit et al. (2017), this abuse results in having fearful nightmares, running away, sexual knowledge, and others.
Neglect is another kind of child abuse that happens when the guardian fails to meet the basic requirement of the child. The basic requirements include food, housing, education, supervision, medical care; this results in a sudden dramatic change in childish behavior. These types of this child abuse are the result of risk factors including unemployment, financial strain, stress, lack of parenting support, domestic violence. The consequences linked with child abuse can go far beyond the imagination and researchers find that there is a close link between aggressive behavior and physical abuse. Sometimes, in the words of Lippard and Nemeroff (2020), the relationship among the variables like aggressive behaviors, depression, and child abuse are different while focusing on a man versus a woman. Additionally, females and males react differently to trauma, males are associated with antisocial behaviors while women start withdrawing everything.
Several studies, research journals every year report that child abuse is noteworthy depressive symptoms and predictors. Depression and anxiety are noticed as a difficult disorder to live as it makes a deep impact and the understanding of the link between childhood trauma and abuse is necessary. Child abuse leads to poor physical or mental behavior in later life that includes anxiety and depressive disorders, eating disorders, suicide attempts, drug use, obesity. Additionally, the long-term effects of child abuse also include absence in school education, criminal risk as well as alcohol and drug problems. According to the view of Assinket al. (2019), emotional abuse has a very grave long-term impact on a child’s emotional, social, physical development and health and develops risk-taking behaviors such as running away from home, robbery. Additionally, it can also increase the risk for developing mental health, self-harming as well as eating disorders.
Research studies find that there is a significant connection between emotional abuse and childhood language and eating problems. As stated by Featherstone et al. (2019, problematic behavior is the significant impact of child abuse in the early stage and identified a negative impulse on behavior. Post-traumatic stress disorder, problems in the neural system are the symptoms of child abuse and the damage lasts a lifetime. The golden years of childhood stages when corrupted by child use, the effects on brain development are the devastating result. According to the view of Briere et al. (2017), the impact of the abuse is daunting and affects every aspect of a life ranging from emotional, social, physical, and intellectual. This leads to the aggressive behavior of the individual including hurting, fighting, harming others in the form of suicidal behaviour and self-harm.
Therefore, there are several international and national organizations with some process to reduce child abuse from the countries. This is beneficial and significant to provide the opportunity for enjoying the golden stage of an individual’s life. Educate the children about child abuse and management of child abuse is required to save the children’s life under eighteen ages and provides security. In 2006, there is almost ¾ of 1,000,000 child abuse reports are funded by the Child Protection Services in the UK. According to the view of Briere et al. (2017), there are several other journal and magazines that reflects the situations of child abuse in several nations. The UK government has also created several rules and regulations to reduce child abuse such as The Children Act 1989, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019.
There are some responsibilities of every citizen including the schools and family to prevent child abuse through education and social awareness. As influenced by Lutz et al. (2017), ensuring children’s well-being and safety are necessary for the nation’s development, and using the law is an important action behind the issue. There are some rights that serve integrated development of the childlike National Policy for Children 1974, Integrated Child Development Scheme, Conventions on the Rights of the Child 1989.
Additionally, there are some welfare committees to take care of childhood issues and problems and serve a better lifestyle and education. In the course of the welfare process, the mental health professionals assist to identify several problems as part of the schemes and planning to take several actions for preventing child abuse with domestic violence. As opined by Oshriet al. (2018), these processes can reduce children and adolescents’ behavioral attitudes as well as emotional disturbance and turmoil. Besides, the childcare and health department, childhood protection policies try to prevent the issues and the strict laws are beneficial in this case.
In the current study, there are some issues related to childhood negligence that highlight the gaps in knowledge are also elaborated. The identification of negligence is recognized as a complex area with the causes of poverty and the effects of parental inaction and social deprivation. According to the view of Bartelinket al. (2018), although there are several reasons and objectives behinds child abuse, there are surely some measurements to provide a better secure life to the children.
The part elaborates the disposal and abuse objectives in a meaningful way and the experts have discussed the flexibility assignments. The study also closely examines the new development of several hazards in the long term to display guidelines to benefit collections. Therefore, the results are satisfactory to clarify the limited impacts of several issues of childhood impact and the changes are evident. In the words of Debowska and Boduszek (2017), several social-environmental resources help to identify several factors including family, individual, and neighborhood factors to understand and help the multiple results. In the research work, there are some research questions as follows,
RQ 1: What are the key issues behind child abuse or maltreatment by adults?
RQ 2: What are the types of child abuse and how they corrupt childhood?
RQ 3: What are the reasons that increase several risks behind child abuse or maltreatment?
RQ 4: What are the initial and long-lasting impacts of child abuse that last a lifetime of an individual?
2. Critical evaluation of research paradigms
Research paradigms are the set of common agreements and beliefs that assists to understand the problems and issues for a long period. The research paradigm held several assumptions within a particular research community about epistemological, entomological, and methodological concerns. The research paradigm is a universally recognized scientific model that provides solutions to different problems and is popular among researchers. There are three major components of research paradigms such as ontology, epistemology, and research methodology. Ontology refers to the characteristics of the beliefs about reality while epistemology refers to the specific branch of philosophy and assists to understand different phenomena. Besides, as influenced by Hupe and Stevenson (2019), research methodology is a theoretically and articulated informed approach for data production and leads the researcher to ask about different processes.
There are three different approaches to the research paradigm such as positivism, interpretivism, and critical theory. As stated by Bolton et al. (2021), three approaches are important during the research work and assists to understand the relevance and import of the research work. The current study discusses two major paradigms, positivism, and interpretivism which are also referred to as constructivism with examining their uses and limitations. Additionally, these two research paradigms exist in post-positivism and critical theory and they are also pragmatic as well as transformative.
Positivism research paradigm
The positivism research paradigm explores social reality based on the ideas through understanding and observing human behaviours. This approach of research paradigm defines true knowledge based on the experience of senses that is pertained through experiment and observation. Based on collected data within the UK’s positivism research paradigm, the beliefs predict human behavior. Positivists strive to understand several worlds along with the natural world and establish certainty in the future. Additionally, in the words of Harper and Perkins (2018), positivist researchers use qualitative data to answer several research questions and formulate theories. The importance of positivism research approaches lies in seeking the precision, power of prediction, and exactitude through natural sciences. Additionally, this approach attempts to overcome the silliness through seeking laws, rules, and regulations and explores some solutions behind the issue.
In the study, the positivism researcher found several issues from various sections and tried to measure different problems. Child abuse and issues related to the problem are clearly stated by positivism researcher through observing different human behaviors. Additionally, from the above study, it is observed that child abuse made a remarkable impact on the behavioral attitudes of the children and lasts a lifetime. Therefore, a positivist researcher observes the behavioral attitudes from different sections of society from various age levels to explore the reality behind the issue. As cited by Schönfelderet al. (2021), observation of human behavior is important and essential to examine the real reason for child abuse across the nations. Besides observations, this type of researcher also experiments with several subjects that are closely associated and linked to the major issue.
Positivist researchers mainly observe different situations with experimentation and therefore explore the cause. In the UK, this positivism research philosophy is very popular to the researcher and this approach is beneficial to understand any kind of social issue. The chief advantage and strength of this approach is the strong process of empirical experimentation with the process of setting hypotheses to measure results in a set of predictions and laws. Besides, according to the view of Harper and Perkins (2018), this approach can serve as an overview of society by uncovering different social trends and beliefs. Therefore, to understand several issues, reasons, or causes, myths are closely observed and focused through this positivist approach of research paradigm.
Interpretivism research paradigm
The interpretive paradigm of research work is associated with the belief of existing multiple layers in single phenomena. This paradigm represents the presence of multiple consequences of a particular event or activities that can be visible in society along with the human development process. As stated by Schönfelderet al. (2021), consideration of the concept and philosophy of the interpretivism paradigm contributes to understanding multiple aspects of child abuse. The potential area that can be understood through this paradigm is the impact of child abuse on mental, physical, and emotional health. Studying associated phenomena with research topics is important for interpreting the social environment for the identification of the most potential solutions towards resource problems.
Social interaction with the environment and research area can be initiated with multiple research methods. Qualitative and quantitative research methodology are two broad categories that can address multiple interpretations of a particular subject based on dependent and independent variables. Qualitative research includes the collection of information through secondary sources for addressing research objectives and questions. According to the view of McElvaneyet al. (2020), thematic analysis is mostly followed by qualitative research under the interpretivism paradigm. Quantitative research methods use both primary and secondary data collection methods for interpreting research topics from multiple phenomena and perspectives. Therefore, interpretivism research philosophy is significant for gathering data based on experiences. Additionally, it is a trustworthy and honest procedure through examining society and collecting data for the research work.
Interpretivism research philosophy is used to understand the knowledge closely linked to social science and human behaviours. This philosophy is required to understand several major issues across the countries based on several interpretations. Additionally, in the words of Albaeket al. (2020), the approach provides the reader a greater understanding of the population and diverse data about child abuse. The researchers can conduct types of research with key methodologies as ground theory and gain different insights about the topic. Besides, the data collected by the researcher has better insights for future actions and gains a deeper understanding of the phenomenon.
3. Critical Evaluation of Research Paradigms
3.1 Randomized controlled Trials
Randomized controlled trials are considered as “gold standard” in the research that falls into positivist paradigms. As a result, randomized controlled trials can offer strong and positive evidence regarding the context of child abuse in a systematic review instead of forming quantitative research. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) can demonstrate the official link between the outcomes and intervention of the study, child abuse based on its deductive nature. In addition, the essential feature of randomized controlled trials is that they can randomize the research topic to a control group as well as an intervention group (Bartlett et al. 2017). These two groups of the RCT have some research weaknesses but they can provide the entire reports regarding child abuse from the previous to the current scenario.
Randomized controlled trials can ensure the equivalent nature of participants of both control and intervention groups, and discuss the outcomes and results of individual groups. After discussing the individual outcomes, randomized controlled trials compare both groups to understand the usual care or intention of participants. Inferential statistics can provide the analysis, purpose, and finding of the research topic, child abuse and it can identify the concept of disproving the null hypothesis. The intervention group of RCT reported that there is a serious risk to harm the emotions of younger children because they hide their depression from the neglect of their parents. The Control group stated that teenagers have the ability to recognize the bad touches and emotional abusers so that they seem to act against abusers (MacIntyre and Wang, 2020).
Identifying entire possible and additional confounding variables of the research outcomes is not important for randomized control trials. The null hypothesis of this research cannot able to reflect the differentiation between control and intervention groups of these randomized controlled trials. On the contrary, it can spread the variables between control and intervention groups of the child abuse study. The research topic has to contain a large and sufficient, strong statistical power to give a positive and effective intervention (Ortiz and Sibinga, 2017). The analysis of randomized controlled trials proved that small research samples cannot provide sufficient results to display the potential differences of both groups. In order to improve the result and design of randomized controlled trials, researchers implement modern tools but it is difficult and expensive to recruit proper proof for demonstrating scenarios.
Randomized controlled trials have some important weaknesses in choosing research topics that do not contain an efficiency to prevent the extrapolation of research findings and the larger population. In the case of child abuse, parents and children with co-morbidities are observed to routinely addict to drug trials sometimes is exclusive to the sampling. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) can act as clinchers to describe the implying which reflects the answers to the research questions. The antithesis to focus of RCT can provide a proper conclusion based on the finding in wider practices that tend to be in the larger application (Mahlke et al. 2017). Another weakness of RCT is that it cannot succeed in broad applicability and as a result, it acts against its status as the gold standard. RCT administered the Childs from the baseline of their problematic situations with the help of an intervention group to control the exploration of their depression.
RCT cannot be reliable to randomize the variable and effective validity of the research study and due to lack of success in similar cases with control groups. This scenario can introduce other risks in the study of child abuse and provide false security in the research randomized process. In order to undermine the validation of the topic and control the significant difference of the study sample, RCT examined the child interventions to investigate the depression. However, RCT has another weakness in this research method that is the central place of statistical analysis (Ridker et al. 2018). This study shed the light on different statistical weaknesses which reflect the user-friendliness of relative users of modern software. Besides that, without understanding the concept of underlying statistical theory, researchers can attempt to analyze the unique problems of randomized controlled trials. The analysis of quantitative data has stated that usual and common problems of RCT can impact research execution, design, and publication regarding child abuse research.
Quantitative research can define the causal links instead of any simple correlations and reflect the rate or pattern of both outcomes and interventions o0f the research study. It is quite tough and enables to explain the concept and existence of research findings but it can explain the subjective experiences during investigate the sensitive area of child abuse. Phenomenology is a key ingredient of quantitative research which aims to develop a better understanding of an individual child’s experience in their daily lifestyle. After developing the understanding researchers can observe the point of view of children regarding child abuse topic that creates a live experience for them (Zurc, 2017). Interpretive and descriptive phenomena are the two broad characteristics of phenomenological research that are focused on the interpretation and description of the live experience. These two categories of phenomenological research contain potential differences in philosophical concepts to offer a wide range of opportunities to the researchers.
The concept of descriptive phenomenology helps the researchers to separate different points of view of the different children from their life experiences by talking with younger children about child abuse. This interpretation can enhance the importance of understanding the emerging research findings that are known as “bracketing” of the research topic. Besides that, interpretive phenomenology helps the researchers to be aware of project attractiveness so that they can interpret the data of their previous research instead of separating them. Previous research data can expand the interpretation of researchers with teenagers about the research topic of child abuse (Wartenweiler, 2017). In this research practice, researchers can realize the philosophical difference between these two phenomenological types of research. The process in which researchers can carry out interview sessions with children, teenagers and how they used their created questions and prompts in the interview to gather their point of view.
Descriptions of interviewers according to participants’ points of view and individual experiences are considered as the important data to conduct the overall research. Interviewers focus on their experience of interaction with participants to provide the deep data that contributes huge and depth information on child abuse. On the contrary, these potential data can introduce inherent risks to the research topic in the role of the interviewer (Clarke et al. 2017). Researchers can move into the role of counselors of the experienced child within an unstructured interview session that creates a huge problem to maintain the research background as a counsellor. Whilst interactions are capable of maintaining flexibility in the data collection process but these interviews are costly and consume the time of researchers to conduct the entire research.
Researchers implement specialist software to facilitate analysis and transcribing procedures by using this software subsequently. Besides that, researchers can control the risk of biases as the structured and unstructured interviews proceed but the Hawthorne effect influences the researchers. Researchers can respond to the act during the interview session to capture the truthful and typical answers from the participants. These disadvantages and advantages of the similar or unstructured interviews can cover the truth of focus (Newsom and Myers-Bowman, 2017). The additional facilities enhance the group communication with participants to collect more information about their experiences. This interaction process provides an opportunity to modify and develop individual opinions and sufficient answers during the interaction. On the contrary, a similar interview can impact negatively the information collection procedure of the interviewers. In these negative cases, preventing shy members of an individual group and avoiding isolated answers of the group members create new problems (Wartenweiler, 2017).
The majority of participants are not interested in sharing their experience and point of view in the first session of the interview as they are afraid of speaking out. This fear of children exploring their experiences can create problems for interviewers to record the interview sessions. Researchers stated that quantitative research approaches have some advantages that provide a small sample of a large population to conduct the research (Vella et al. 2017). Small samples help researchers to collect potential information in minimum time and describe prominent results of the research including transformation, confirmations, and dependencies.
3.3 Ethics in Research
General principles of the research study applied in this conducted research topic child abuse and other groups of the project pose extra complexes of the research ethics. The ethical concept of research can approach the focus on their participants’ problems to ensure the scope of hampering the project indirectly or directly. Research ethics can clarify the sufficient robustness of the research design on the interview process and the importance of interview prompts and questions during interaction (Jia, 2020). Researchers can face sensitive issues with the phenomenon by having discussions with participants about their life experiences and thoughts of child abuse if the project hampered directly. Indirect hampering of the research project can rise due to overconfidence. Lack of self-confidence of the research participants can lead to harassment, embarrassment, and victimization in the future (Lázaro‐Muñoz et al. 2019).
Lack of self-confidence can hamper the future scope of the children as they feel the disclosure nature of sharing their opinions with anyone. Failure of integrity in confidence can occur in the interview session of the research in the small community and interviewers can identify the direct quotes from their responses. In the case of a small population community, interviewers can describe the aspects of responding and reported finding and regulate the individual activity of their given roles. Researchers implement data protection activities to secure the potential details and experiences of the participants and this security can enhance the confidence of participants (Harriss et al. 2017).
Besides that, interviewers secure computer access, lock their cabinets of files, and remove the identification of participants or patients from recording data and written reports. In addition, poor design of interviews of the research topic can decrease the value and build an unethical culture within the interview session undertaken by the participants from the research. This poor research interview cannot respond to the value of the participants and the society and create additional expenses, inconveniences and discomfort to participants during the interaction (Noroozi et al. 2019). Similarly, the research results that are not able to put new concepts and knowledge in the research topic but maintains the proper design, considered unethical research. Management of research can include rewards and appreciations if the reported aspects affect the ethical dimension of the research topic child abuse.
Appreciations encourage the researchers to integrate the knowledge of the study and motivate their participants to enhance their self-confidence that ensures observations within the study. Researchers need to regulate the daily activity of their participants and behave as a friend with them to understand their mental state during the interview session (Pereira, 2020). This regulation and observation can help researchers to gather true information of their experience and need to submit several reports to their management and governance of the research project.
Sum of the study can be concluded that child maltreatment reflects the neglect of parents, the impact of unsafe touches, ill-treatment of emotions, physical and sexual harassment. Childhood gaps can impact sensitive issues in child development and become a fundamental challenge in the future lifestyle. Self-governing, lack of parents’ attention and rude behavior can affect the mental status of any child and that causes depression from their childhood. Children have started tantrums and stopped talking to others so that they cannot share their opinions with anyone. School and college students seem to report maximum cases of sexual abuse because they have the knowledge of good and bad touches rather than a little child. Randomized control trials divided their characteristics into intervention and control groups to discuss the point of view and experience of the research participants. In this study, phenomenology has separated and evaluated the problems of participants and committed them to secure their identity and experience for enhancing their self-confidence.
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1. Appendix 1 – Search Strategy
|Search term||Number of hits|
|Types of abuse||65|
|Child abuse objectives||1250|
|Signs of child maltreatment||125|
|Corporal punishment for child abuse||75|
|Reasons behind the crime||43|
|Approaches to reduce child maltreatment||65|
|Risks of child abuse||54|
|Initiate from different corporations||1135|
|Identification of the child abuse impact||2455|
|The long term effect of child maltreatment||550|
Table 1: Google Scholar search strategy
(Source: Seddighiet al. 2021)
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