Comparing parental characteristics regarding child neglect: An analysis of cases retained by child protection services in Quebec

Comparing parental characteristics regarding child neglect: An analysis of cases retained by child protection services in Quebec

Comparing parental characteristics regarding child neglect: An analysis of cases retained by child protection services in Quebec

Comparing parental characteristics regarding child neglect: An analysis of cases retained by child protection services in Quebecs

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Référence bibliographique [4690]

Mayer, Micheline, Dufour, Sarah, Lavergne, Chantal, Girard, Magali et Trocmé, Nico. 2003. Comparing parental characteristics regarding child neglect: An analysis of cases retained by child protection services in Quebec. Vancouver: Child and Youth Health, 3rd World Congress, (Vancouver, 11 - 14 mai 2003).

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Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
« 1. Describe the various types of families in which reports of child neglect are substantiated.
2. Identify the characteristics that distinguish these different family types » (p. 1)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
« Our analysis is based on data from the Quebec Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse, Neglect, Abandonment and Serious Behavioural Problems (QIS). [...]
The QIS documented 9,790 reports to youth protection services, of which 4,929 reports (representing 4,774 children) were retained for investigation. Maltreatment was substantiated in 2,965 cases [...]. » (p. 1)

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


« Studies of the incidence of child maltreatment in Canada as a whole (Trocmé et al., 2001) and in Quebec specifically (Tourigny et al., 2002) reveal that nearly half of all reports to child protection services concerned neglected children. In Quebec, the number of cases of substantiated neglect almost doubled between 1993 and 1999 from 3.8 to 6.15 per 1,000 children (Blanchard, Bouchard, Hélie & Mayer, 2002). These statistics highlight a pressing need to understand the relationship between child neglect, family types and parenting. The literature reveals that most neglected children live in families headed by socially isolated single mothers trying to cope with a variety of social and health problems (Gaudin, 1993; Jones & McCurdy, 1992; Swift, 1995).
However, very little work has been done to investigate the links between fathers and neglect. Lacharité (2001) and Radhakrishna et al. (2001) have recently hypothesized that men are much more of a presence in neglecting families than previous research might suggest. Older studies do not always take into account the complexity of the shifting relationships between couples in these families and the importance of fathers (biological or not) appears to be underestimated.
There is a strong tendency among both researchers and child protection agencies to focus exclusively on mothers when considering issues of child neglect. The biological father and the mother’s current partner, are rarely mentioned in studies or involved in child welfare assessments.
Yet some research suggests that in some circumstances, the involvement of a father, whether the biological father or the mother’s partner, can protect against abuse and neglect (Biller & Solomon, 1986; Dubowitz et al., 2000; Egeland, Jacobitz & Sroufe, 1988; Quinton, Rutter & Liddle, 1984; Turcotte, Dubeau, Bolté & Paquette, 2001). Other studies draw finer distinctions. Male partners are not always a significant source of support to neglecting mothers (Polansky et al., 1981) and these men may sometimes increase the risk of maltreatment (see surveys by Daly & Wilson, 1996, 1999).
The research presented here suggests that fathers are very much present in situations of child neglect and that an analysis of the family type leads to a better understanding of the problem. » (p. 1)