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Child discipline and maltreatment in Zhejiang Province of China: perceptions, risk factors, experiences and impacts

Ni, Yanyan; (2018) Child discipline and maltreatment in Zhejiang Province of China: perceptions, risk factors, experiences and impacts. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: To explore multiple aspects of child maltreatment in China, including perceptions, risk factors, experiences and negative effects, with a focus on the role of parental aggression and parental childhood maltreatment, as well as the independent effects of different types of maltreatment on child emotional and behavioural problems. Methods: The study sites were urban and rural areas of Zhejiang Province, China. A mixed-method design was used: semi-structured interviews with 11 young adults, 21 parents and nine children, three focus group discussions with 22 children, and questionnaire surveys with 1,201 young adults, 576 parents and 791 children. Results: Physical and emotional maltreatment, before age 18, were reported by 81% and 82% of young adults respectively. Personal experience of emotional maltreatment was generally perceived as more harmful than physical. Lifetime prevalence of maltreatment reported by parents and children was - physical: 56% vs 50%; emotional: 75% vs 59%; non-contact punishment: 21% vs 18%. 21% of the children reported experiencing three or four types of maltreatment (including witnessing domestic violence). Parents with higher aggressive tendencies were more likely to maltreat children. Parental aggression was an explanatory factor for the intergenerational transmission of maltreatment. Emotional maltreatment was consistently associated with a higher risk of child emotional and conduct problems. Severe physical maltreatment showed the strongest association with abnormal conduct. Moderate physical maltreatment was independently associated with emotional problems. There was an increased risk with multiple types of maltreatment. The qualitative research adds useful insights into the perceptions of child maltreatment in China from different perspectives. Children’s and young adults’ perceptions of maltreatment experiences were focused on parents’ intentions. Most parents perceived physical punishment and verbal aggression as necessary in disciplining children. Some parents were more reflective of their aggressive behaviours towards children and were more willing to change their disciplinary methods. Conclusions: The pervasiveness of child maltreatment and the considerable harm caused to children and young adults suggest an urgent need for raising public awareness, educating parents and introducing a formal child protection system in China.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Child discipline and maltreatment in Zhejiang Province of China: perceptions, risk factors, experiences and impacts
Event: UCL(University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Neonatology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053318
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