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The vulnerabilities of children whose parents have been abused in childhood.

Hooper, C. and Koprowska, J. (2004) The vulnerabilities of children whose parents have been abused in childhood. British Journal of Social Work, 34 (2). pp. 165-180. ISSN 0045-3102

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Concerns about the parenting capacity of adults with a history of childhood sexual abuse have often been framed in individualizing and pathologizing ways. This paper draws on qualitative research with twenty-four women survivors of childhood sexual abuse to develop a new framework for understanding the possible vulnerabilities of their children that may help inform anti-oppressive practice. The framework places the mother-child relationship in its broader context, taking account of the role of the immediate family, the extended family, the community and the state. Within each level of context we identify the range of issues that could contribute to children’s vulnerability, elaborating the processes involved. Some issues recur within different contexts, for example the impacts of survivors’ issues around attachment, and others connect across contexts, such as the impact on children of deterioration in their mothers' mental health when appropriate services are not available. All of these issues may affect survivors’ well-being and access to social support and hence their ability to care effectively for their children. Ways of supporting both survivors and their children involving greater collective responsibility for children, effective collaboration between mental health services and child-care services, and professional responses which take account of contextual issues are identified.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Social Policy and Social Work (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2009 14:43
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2009 14:43
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch020
Status: Published
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Identification Number: 10.1093/bjsw/bch020
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5741

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