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Children's Views on Child Abuse and Neglect: Findings From an Exploratory Study with Chinese Children in Hong Kong

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 35 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2011 Pages: 162-172
Yuk-chung Chan; Gladys L.T. Lam; Wan-Chaw Shae
Date Published
March 2011
11 pages
This study of Chinese children in Hong Kong (n=87) examined their views on child abuse and neglect, and it discusses the implications of these views for child-protection services and research in Chinese societies.
The findings indicate the children did not have unified views on child abuse and neglect, and their awareness and sensitivity to different kinds of child abuse varied. Some of the views on child abuse and neglect were uniquely their own and were significantly different from those of adults; however, some of the children's views were similar to those of adults. The children expressed a reluctance to disclose abuse and neglect due to their loyalty to parents. Many Chinese children are taught in their families that avoidance of the expression of negative feelings about family and the keeping of family secrets are necessary in order to avoid bringing shame and guilt to their family and its members. Chinese children in Hong Kong have and are able to express their views on child abuse and neglect. Child protection workers should solicit and consider these views and their implications for dealing with cases of suspected child abuse. This study indicates that Chinese children's relatively low sensitivity to child neglect and sexual abuse, as well as their reluctance to disclose abuse and neglect because of loyalty to their parents should be considered in the development of child abuse prevention in a Chinese society like Hong Kong. Six primary schools from different districts of Hong Kong were involved in the study. Five vignettes of child maltreatment were presented in flash movies to 87 children in 12 focus groups. The children were asked relevant questions about the movies. Children's comments were transcribed verbatim for analysis by researchers. 3 tables, 56 references, and appended descriptions of vignettes