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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77716 Find in a Library
Title: Deviant Behaviors of Child Victims and Bystanders in Violent Families (From Exploring the Relationship Between Child Abuse and Delinquency, P 79-99, 1981, Robert J Hunner and Yvonne Elder Walker, ed. - See NCJ-77711)
Author(s): J H Pfouts; J H Schopler; H C Henley
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Allanheld, Osmun and Co Publishers, Inc
Montclair, NJ 07042
Sale Source: Allanheld, Osmun and Co Publishers, Inc
6 South Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study found that deviance among children in violent families varies depending on the role of the child in abuse, the family climate, and identity of the abuser.
Abstract: The study hypothesized that children who are bystanders to family violence would exhibit minimal deviance if their relationship with parents had some positive features and mild deviance if the relationship was characterized by parental rejection. It also hypothesized that children who are victims of family violence would exhibit mild deviance if their relationship with the abusing parents had some positive features and severe deviance if the relationship involved parental rejection. The study population was chosen from over 800 cases investigated by the protective service unit in Orange County, N.C., from 1971 to 1977. The sample of 73 families with a total of 141 children included 35 cases of child abuse, 16 cases of wife abuse, and 22 cases involving both wife and child abuse. Data were obtained from investigation reports and from interviews with the social workers or supervisor responsible for each case. A total of 30.4 percent of the families had income from public assistance; only 10 percent had incomes of $15,000 or more. Forty-five percent of the families were black, and 20 percent had four or more children living in the home. Over half the parents did not complete high school. Of the children, 25 were bystanders to wife abuse, 24 were bystanders to the abuse of a sibling, and 92 were victims of abuse. The data analysis supported both hypotheses. In addition, the children who exhibited the greatest number of socially deviant behaviors were those who suffered abuse from both parents, followed by children abused by the mother only, children abused by the father only, bystanders to wife abuse, and bystanders to child abuse. Footnotes, tables, and a 21-item reference list are included.
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse; Deviance; Home environment; Juvenile delinquency factors
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