Causes and Effects of Child Abuse - Some Contributing Factors To Child Abuse, The Violent Family, Abusive Mothers, Abusive Fathers, Abusive Siblings
violence straus surveys gelles
Raising a child is not easy. Everyday stresses, strains, and sporadic upheavals in family life, coupled with the normal burdens of child care, cause most parents to feel angry at times. People who would not dream of hitting a colleague or an acquaintance when they are angry may think nothing of hitting their children. Some feel remorse after hitting a loved one; nevertheless, when they are angry, they still resort to violence. The deeper intimacy and greater commitment in a family make emotionally charged disagreements more frequent and more intense.
Murray A. Straus and Richard J. Gelles, experts in child abuse research, believe that cultural standards permit violence in the family. The family, which is the center of love and security in most children's lives, is also the place where the child is punished, sometimes physically.
The 1975 National Family Violence Survey and the 1985 National Family Violence Resurvey, conducted by Straus and Gelles, are the most complete studies of spousal and parent-child abuse yet prepared in the United States. The major difference between these two surveys and most other surveys discussed in Chapter 4 is that the data from these surveys came from detailed interviews with the general population, not from cases that came to the attention of official agencies and professionals. Straus and Gelles had a more intimate knowledge of the families and an awareness of incidences of child abuse that were not reported to the authorities. (Straus and Gelles incorporated research from the two surveys and additional chapters into the book Physical Violence in American Families: Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence in 8,145 Families, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1990.)