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Factors Associated With Parent/Caregiver Child Abuse Tanisha Grimes, PhD, MPH Project Director, GA Child Traumatic Stress Initiative The Stephanie V. Blank.

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Presentation on theme: "Factors Associated With Parent/Caregiver Child Abuse Tanisha Grimes, PhD, MPH Project Director, GA Child Traumatic Stress Initiative The Stephanie V. Blank."— Presentation transcript:

1 Factors Associated With Parent/Caregiver Child Abuse Tanisha Grimes, PhD, MPH Project Director, GA Child Traumatic Stress Initiative The Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children, A Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite

2 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Why do parents/caregivers abuse children?

3 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta “Why do you think parents abuse their children?” “Environmental Stress” “Drugs, PTSD and low self-esteem” “Domestic violence, history of abuse” “Unrealistic age-appropriate expectations” “Conflict with other parent” “Stress over finances, low-income” “Poor coping skills, dealing with anger”

4 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Breaking the Cycle “I am a parent and a survivor of childhood abuse. That type of behavior is learned. When that is the only way you know how to solve a problem, that is what you do, you live what you learn. I have tried VERY hard to break the cycle. I can honestly say I have never abused my children. It takes learning new methods of coping and finding ways to deal with your anger.”

5 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Factors Associated With Child Maltreatment Caregiver Factors Family Factors Child Development Factors Environmental Factors Cultural Factors Administration for Children and Families, 2003

6 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Parent/Caregiver Factors Psychological Well-being History of abuse Substance abuse Knowledge of child development

7 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Family Factors Family structure Marital Conflict Domestic Violence Stress Parent-child interaction

8 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Child Development Factors Age Disabilities Child Temperament

9 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Environmental Factors Poverty and Unemployment Social Isolation and Social Support Violent Communities

10 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Cultural Factors Abuse v/s Discipline Accepted cultural practices Religious beliefs

11 In their own words…

12 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta A Father, Physical Abuser “My father was the boss in the house and this is how I was taught things should be.”

13 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta A Father, Sexual Abuser “I’m worried about myself because a lot of people say I did it because I was abused, I did it because I was angry, and I wanted to take it out on them sexually. I did it because of this. I did it because of that. I don't understand that. I just felt like I just wanted to sexualize them. By sexualize I mean just get your rocks off or whatever in a different way, a sexual high.”

14 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta A Father, Sexual Abuser “I need a fix because I was feeling crappy. Maybe I didn’t get the contract I bid for, or my wife and I had a fight about something where I’d rather go spend some time by myself but I can’t…My relationship with my wife was so difficult and so complicated and arguments and the whole deal. How can I tell my wife I want to be alone?”

15 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta A Mother, Physical Abuser “Nothing else I do works, he doesn’t listen, I tried other forms of discipline. I get so angry because nothing works.”

16 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta A Father, Sexual Abuser “The only time I really felt good was when I was acting out sexually. It was safe for me. It was like everything around me was so dark. I wasn’t getting any good feelings from anywhere. I had convinced myself that I didn’t deserve them. No one really knows me. They just know the image. They didn’t love me. They loved the façade. I just felt miserable.”

17 What were some reoccurring words, phrases or themes that you heard?

18 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Reoccurring Words and Phrases “I was taught” “I was abused” “I was angry” “I was feeling crappy” “I had a fight” “My relationship was complicated” “He doesn’t listen” “The only time I really felt good”

19 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta In Their Own Voice cton-parents-admit-to-abusing-their-baby-boy cton-parents-admit-to-abusing-their-baby-boy

20 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Summary No one reason why abuse occurs Myriad of overlapping factors Many parents/caregivers do not believe they are abusing their children Focus on the different factors to help parents

21 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Questions? Tanisha Grimes, PhD, MPH Project Director


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