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Title: Child discipline and maltreatment in Zhejiang Province of China : perceptions, risk factors, experiences and impacts
Author: Ni, Yanyan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 1293
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available