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Parenting in South African mothers with a history of family violence Shereen Moolla and Catherine L. Ward Department of Psychology University of Cape Town.

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Presentation on theme: "Parenting in South African mothers with a history of family violence Shereen Moolla and Catherine L. Ward Department of Psychology University of Cape Town."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parenting in South African mothers with a history of family violence Shereen Moolla and Catherine L. Ward Department of Psychology University of Cape Town

2  Engineering and the Built Environment:  Town planning  Humanities:  Anthropology; linguistics; film & media studies; psychology; religious studies; social development; sociology  Health sciences:  Forensic medicine; Gender, Health & Justice Research Unit; primary health care directorate; psychiatry; public health; surgery  Law  Law, Race & Gender Research Unit; criminology; public law UCT’s Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI)

3  Some background on intimate partner violence and child maltreatment in South Africa  Family violence and parenting  Methodology for our study  Findings:  Demographics  Mothers’ histories of family violence  Mothers’ parenting  Children’s behaviour  Risk and protective factors  Relationships among variables  Interpretations and implications This presentation

4  Nicia de Nobrega, Abigail Miles and Inge Wessels  The Saartjie Baartman Centre, REACH, the New World Foundation, Self-Help Mannenberg, Carehaven, the Westlake Community Centre, Place of Hope, Village Care, and the Islamic Resource Foundation of South Africa  The UCT University Research Committee and the National Research Foundation Thanks to:

5  8.8% of men working in the Cape Town municipality report IPV against a partner in the last year (Abrahams et al., 2006)  At least half of female homicide victims are killed by their intimate partners (Seedat et al., 2009) :  In 1999, this was therefore at least 1,899 women, or 12.4 per 100,000  The rate of homicide for women (all causes) is 6x the average rate worldwide Intimate partner violence in SA

6 Child maltreatment in South Africa  44.6% of the homicides due to CAN  35.7% of these due to abandonment in the first week after birth  74% of the CAN homicides among children aged 0-4 Mathews et al., 2012

7  Increased depression and anxiety  Increased substance misuse  Internalised model of violence as a way to solve problems Consequences of family violence

8 Risk factorsProtective factors Intimate partner violenceSocial support Parent’s own child maltreatmentHigher maternal education Substance misuseOlder maternal age Parental mental illnessParental competence Poverty Parental stress Risk and protection for parenting Child behavioural problems

9  Mothers were recruited from NGOs serving women across Cape Town  Inclusion criteria:  Women with a child aged 3-8  The child’s behaviour concerned mother  Had not received any parenting intervention  Interviewed 215 women, excluded 12:  4 had children > 8  6 had too much missing data  2 had either a “yes” or a “no” response set Methodology



12  Demographics  CTS-2 - intimate partner violence  ICAST-R - history of childhood abuse  PC-CTS - parent/child conflict  ECBI - child behaviour problems  PSOC - parent competence  PSI - parental stress  GHQ - maternal mental health  ASSIST - substance misuse  Duke Social Support Scale Measures

13  Mean age: 32.4 years old.  Marital status: mostly single (46.80%).  Language: mostly Afrikaans and isiXhosa (38.42 % and 42.37%) respectively.  Children: 65% had more than one child  82.76% were unemployed  Education: 62.56% of the participants had not completed high school  Housing:  53.21% participants lived in formal housing  16.26% l in outbuildings in someone’s backyard  8.87% in shacks  20.20% in flats  13% of the women interviewed were living in shelters for abused women at the time of the interview. Demographics

14  Access to electricity, a phone, a television and a private motor-car: 12.32% had access to all four commodities.  Food security: 72.91% had ‘run out of money to buy food at least once that year’  34.48% ‘had to go to bed hungry sometimes’  81% received the child support grant Poverty

15 Subscale %n Psychological Abuse - minor83.74 170 Psychological Abuse - severe66.51135 Physical Abuse - minor73.40149 Physical Abuse - severe53.69109 Sexual Abuse - minor43.3588 Sexual Abuse - severe22.1745 Injury - minor54.19110 Injury - severe39.4180 Mothers’ history of IPV

16 Type of child abusen% Hit, punched or kicked8139.9% Beaten with an object9245.3% Stabbed or cut209.9% Exposure to other’s genitals3014.8% Forced to pose naked10.5% Unwanted touching of genitals3014.8% Forced to touch other’s genitals188.9% Forced sexual intercourse188.9% Ever told anyone about unwanted sexual experiences146.9% Mothers’ history of child abuse

17 What parenting techniques did parents use? n%MeanSD Non-Violent Discipline19495.576.073.09 Psychological Aggression19294.585.873.45 Minor Assault19093.605.223.36 Severe Assault8039.411.141.86 Very Severe Assault3416.750.371.01

18 Children’s behaviour IntensityProblem n%n% Above cut-off5627.68541.9

19 Risk/protective factorn% High parenting stress scores 19696.6% Achieved ‘caseness’ on the GHQ 13968.5% Risky use of tobacco 10752.7% Risky use of alcohol 4723.2% Risky use of cannabis 157.4% Risky use of cocaine 10.5% Risky use of amphetamines 136.4% Risky use of inhalants 10.5% Risky use of sedatives 104.9% At least moderate social support 12662.1% Moderate-high parental incompetence 17887.7% Other factors

20 HHigher maternal age was associated with child behaviour problems RRunning out of money for food was associated with child behaviour problems GGetting income from work was associated with child behaviour problems MMothers’ histories of family violence were significantly associated with child behaviour problems TThis relationship is mediated by parental stress, parent-child conflict and parental competence BBut not by maternal mental health, substance misuse, or social support Relationships among variables


22  If women seek help for parenting, ask about their histories of family violence  If women seek help for family violence, ask about their children’s wellbeing  Prevent child maltreatment and intimate partner violence  Programmes that boost parental competence – parent training programmes – may well reduce parental stress and improve child behaviour Implications

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