Journal Article

Neighbourhoods, Networks and Child Abuse


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 26, issue 4, pages 523-543
Published in print August 1996 | ISSN: 0045-3102
e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Neighbourhoods, Networks and Child Abuse

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The ecological framework for the study of child abuse is briefly described and the present stud—of two adjoining economically depressed localities with contrasting rates of child abuse—is theoretically located within the framework. The study focuses on the neighbourhood as a potential source of support for families, the study design emphasizing the character of the neighbourhoods as social entities. The social character and reported child abuse histories of the two study neighbourhoods in Western Sydney, Australia, are presented, and the research instruments and procedures used in a household survey, are described. Demographic data, parents'/carers' ratings of (i) the social environment, (ii) the locality as a place to raise children, (iii) transport and communication patterns, together with membership of nine sub-networks of each carer's support network, are analysed. The one outstanding difference between the two localities was found to be the structure of the networks of the two samples of residents. In the area with a higher rate of abuse there was a relative lack of connection between more immediate (familial) and more distant parts of the social networks, a finding which parallels the results of several earlier studies of clinical and non-clinical populations.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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