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Journal article

Advocacy journey promoting child sexual abuse prevention in Hong Kong

Authors:
CHEUNG Monit, LEUNG Carol A., SUK-CHING LIU Elaine
Journal article citation:
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 26(8), 2017, pp.957-969.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

In a country without a mandatory child abuse reporting system, advocacy for child welfare law can be a tedious and difficult process. This article documents a 10-year advocacy journey based on the capacity-building concept in social sustainability theory which aims to: raise public awareness of child sexual abuse, provide an idea for branding an inquiry column, and connect advocacy efforts to law reforms. Over the past decade in Hong Kong, a total of 336 public inquiries were anonymously sent to Wu Miu Column and published in three local major newspapers. Among these inquiries, 131 inquiries involved child sexual abuse that the “affected individuals” were molested in school or at home and knew the abusers but did not report their cases to child protection services. Inquirers reported more male than female abusers. Proportionally and significantly, female abusers tended to abuse younger children, compared to male abusers who tended to abuse older children. Many abusers were minors who abused younger children, which explains people’s reluctance to report the abuse to child protection services. The discovery of this underage phenomenon motivated child advocates to challenge the common law presumption that a boy under the age of 14 is incapable of sexual intercourse. Social workers in this advocacy journey must sustain continuous efforts to prevent youth from becoming future perpetrators. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Exploring the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and hope

Authors:
BAXTER Michael A., et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 26(8), 2017, pp.948-956.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

This study explores the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and hope, a convenience sample of caregivers bringing in children for medical investigation of child abuse at a regional child advocacy centre were surveyed for adverse childhood experiences and dispositional hope. Hope in this sample had a significant negative correlation to the adverse childhood experiences subscale “abuse” (r = –.19; p < .05). The relationship between hope and the other adverse childhood experiences subscales “neglect” (r = –.14) and “dysfunctional family” (r = –.16) was not statistically significant. An analysis of variance was performed to determine if caregivers who have experienced both sexual and physical abuse (M = 29.67; SD = 15.96) have lower hope scores compared to those caregivers who have experienced neither physical nor sexual abuse (M = 42.64; SD = 18.44). This analysis (F (1, 84) = 5.28; p < 0.05) showed that caregivers who experienced both physical and sexual abuse scored significantly lower on hope compared to their counterparts who experienced no adverse events, with an estimated effect size of moderate strength (d = 0.70). Higher adverse childhood experiences scores are associated with lower hope. This result was especially true for those adult caregivers who reported experiencing both physical and sexual abuse when compared to adults who did not experience either form of child trauma. While the empirical literature continues to demonstrate the negative consequences of adverse childhood experiences across the life span, hope offers a compelling new line of inquiry in child maltreatment research especially for studies targeting prevention or intervention. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

“I am not a victim. I am a survivor”: resilience as a journey for female survivors of child sexual abuse

Authors:
NEWSOM Kimmery, MYERS-BOWMAN Karen
Journal article citation:
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 26(8), 2017, pp.927-947.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

This study was designed to expand understanding of the positive aspects of coping and resilience in female survivors of child sexual abuse. Research questions focused on women’s lived experiences of being survivors of child sexual abuse and how they have experienced resilience, developed healthy intimate relationships, and viewed themselves as sexual beings. Using a qualitative research lens of phenomenology, the authors captured the essence of survivors’ experiences of resilience. Although each woman’s experience was unique, similar patterns of processes and outcomes emerged as meaningful in their development of resilient and healthy sexuality and relationship functioning. However, participants emphasised resilience as a process or journey—recovery from trauma, reconceptualisation of self, and development of healthy sexuality included deliberate efforts occurring over time. Implications for future research and practice using a positive lens of resilience are provided. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Alcohol habits and health care use in patients with psychiatric disorders

Authors:
NEHLIN Christina, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 13(4), 2017, pp.247-253.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Objective: It is common for persons with psychiatric disorders to also have alcohol problems. Studies in the general population as well as in clinical samples have found hazardous or harmful alcohol habits to be particularly prevalent in the presence of psychiatric disorders. This study sought to explore the relationships between drinking habits and health care utilisation (psychiatric as well as general medical) in persons seeking psychiatric treatment and to investigate the associations among age, sex, and type or number of diagnoses and health care use and costs. For the planning of targeted interventions, the authors also sought to identify subgroups with a high prevalence of hazardous drinking habits. Methods: From a psychiatric clinic for affective disorders at a university hospital in Sweden, patients who had been screened for hazardous drinking (N = 609) were selected. Patients with primary psychosis or substance use disorder receive treatment at other clinics and did not participate. Medical records data were grouped and compared. The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10) was used for diagnoses and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for screening. Patients were grouped by drinking habits and sex, age, and diagnosis group, and their psychiatric as well as general medical health care use was compared. Results: Abstainers used psychiatric care more than all other drinking groups (p < .001). Psychiatric health care costs were higher in abstainers and low-risk drinkers (1.64 to 1). No differences in general medical care could be identified between drinking groups. Specific subgroups with higher rates of hazardous drinking could not be identified (44% of all males and 34% of all females reported such habits). Inconclusive results from previous research are most likely due to different methods used to classify drinking problems. Conclusions: Abstainers and low-risk drinkers used psychiatric health care to a higher cost than the other drinking groups. Possible explanations are discussed from a clinical and scientific perspective. This study clarifies the need for uniform measures when classifying alcohol use in studies of relationships between alcohol use and health care use. There is also a need to separate former drinkers from abstainers in future studies. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Protagonists' and adoptive process representations in Italian children's books about international adoption: a qualitative study

Authors:
GRECO Ondina, COMELLI Ivana
Journal article citation:
Adoption Quarterly, 20(4), 2017, pp.267-290.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia

This qualitative study aims at identifying the main representations of the international adoption process through a comparative analysis of 62 Italian stories about international adoption. Content analysis involves the use of thematic analysis as well as computer-assisted text analysis. Results show that adoption is represented varying from a polarization in which “the positive” is situated in the “adoptive world” while “the negative” pertains to the world of the origins, to a more integrated representation in which both the adoptive context and the origins entail positive aspects. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Are disinhibited social behaviors among internationally adopted children mediated by the attachment environment or by children's difficulties with inhibitory control?

Authors:
GORTER Bethany, et al
Journal article citation:
Adoption Quarterly, 20(4), 2017, pp.291-308.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia

Internationally adopted children show higher rates of disinhibited social behavior (DSB). Two competing explanations for DSB include difficulties in attachment specifically and deficits in inhibitory control more generally. This four-wave longitudinal study (a) documented the persistence of DSB among internationally adopted children and (b) tested the relative contributions of attachment environment versus inhibitory control difficulties in the persistence of DSB. Improvement in DSB was found 3 to 4 years post-adoption for the sample as a whole, although heterogeneity within the sample was present. Results from structural equation modeling and another test of mediation both indicated that the association between early deprivation and DSB was mediated by general difficulties with inhibitory control, not by attachment environment. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Life stories of international Romanian adoptees: a narrative study

Authors:
McKAIL Rachel, et al
Journal article citation:
Adoption Quarterly, 20(4), 2017, pp.309-328.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia

This study sought to explore the life stories of Romanian adoptees who were internationally adopted following the fall of communism in 1989. Ten participants were recruited via social media and took part in a life stories interview. Data were analysed using narrative analysis, which led to the development of four life chapters centred around identity construction—Chapter 1: Setting the scene–the adoption story; Chapter 2: Constructing the self; Chapter 3: Who am I? Quest for self-discovery; and Chapter 4: Negotiating the selves. Clinical implications, research limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Dissociative experiences and trauma exposure among newly arrived and settled young war refugees

Authors:
GUSIC Sabina, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Aggression Maltreatment and Trauma, 26(10), 2017, pp.1132-1149.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

War-traumatised refugee adolescents are a vulnerable and understudied group. This study of two different groups of war-traumatised youth (N = 77) resettled in Sweden (newly arrived refugee adolescents, n = 42, 13–19 years, and settled students with childhood war experiences, n = 35, 11–18 years) evaluated their war experiences, refugee journey, general trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and dissociative experiences. Both groups had experienced many traumas and a substantial proportion reported levels consistent with posttraumatic stress (71% in the newly arrived group and 34% among the settled students) and dissociation (36% and 23%, respectively). The study also provides information about the type of adverse events experienced by war-refugee adolescents, including their own subjective appraisals of the worst events. The results show that the extent of trauma exposure and posttraumatic and dissociative symptomatology among refugee adolescents are considerable even after a period of resettlement, a finding that has educational, clinical, and social implications. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Practice evaluation strategies among social workers: why an evidence-informed dual-process theory still matters

Author:
DAVIS Thomas D.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 14(6), 2017, pp.389-408.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Practice evaluation strategies range in style from the formal-analytic tools of single-subject designs, rapid assessment instruments, algorithmic steps in evidence-informed practice, and computer software applications, to the informal-interactive tools of clinical supervision, consultation with colleagues, use of client feedback, and clinical experience. The purpose of this article is to provide practice researchers in social work with an evidence-informed theory that is capable of explaining both how and why social workers use practice evaluation strategies to self-monitor the effectiveness of their interventions in terms of client change. The author delineates the theoretical contours and consequences of what is called dual-process theory. Drawing on evidence-informed advances in the cognitive and social neurosciences, the author identifies among everyday social workers a theoretically stable, informal-interactive tool preference that is a cognitively necessary, sufficient, and stand-alone preference that requires neither the supplementation nor balance of formal-analytic tools. The author’s delineation of dual-process theory represents a theoretical contribution in the century-old attempt to understand how and why social workers evaluate their practice the way they do. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Personal accounts of poverty: a thematic analysis of social media

Authors:
CAPLAN Mary Ager, PURSER Gregory, KINDLE Peter A.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 14(6), 2017, pp.433-456.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

The field of social work seeks to enhance human well-being by addressing the needs of people living in poverty. Three billion people around the world use the internet daily, and 65% of them use social media. This article qualitatively identifies emergent themes about the lived experiences of poverty from people who reported either being poor or having have been poor, using selected social media posts (N = 1,495) on the website Reddit. The authors found that the experiences of poverty bring arduousness and hardship, which necessitates an arsenal of survival strategies and skills. It was also found that some people who were poor experienced the saving grace of unexpected charitable acts, which eased their burden. Moreover, these experiences manifest in vestigial feelings and behaviours even when one is no longer poor. An understanding of the lived experiences by poor people themselves is a foundational task for social work educators, practitioners, and researchers. (Edited publisher abstract)

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