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04-03-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 6/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 6/2017

An Integrated Resilience and Ecological Model of Child Abuse (REC-Model)

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 6/2017
Chloe Ling, Sylvia Kwok


Much of the theories of child abuse are developed and referenced from the West, while their applications to Chinese society are unclear. It is necessary to examine the cases in Hong Kong to acknowledge the uniqueness in perception and conceptualization of child abuse and the impact of resilience, across different cultural settings. The current study aims to advance an ecological model of child abuse for Hong Kong families by integrating resilience perspective with the ecological systems, namely An Integrated Resilience and Ecological Model of Child Abuse (REC-Model), and to examine the interactions between resilience and risk factors among chronosystemic, microsystemic, marcosystemic, and ontogenic systems on child abuse. Using a cross sectional survey research method and path analysis, 565 families with children studying at ages between 9 and 13 participated and returned self-administered questionnaires in the study. The results showed that Chinese cultural parenting values moderated the influences of risk factors on child abuse, while forgiveness buffered the negative impact of microsystemic factors on child abuse. To prevent child abuse, it is important to decrease the detrimental effects of childhood abuse experiences, reduce marital conflicts, and avoid developing insecure parent-child attachment. Promoting forgiveness, while reducing parents’ rigidity of certain Chinese cultural parenting values, may also help decrease child abuse.

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