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Cues of Paternal Uncertainty and Father to Child Physical Abuse as Reported by Mothers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 35 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2011 Pages: 567-573
Gisele Caldas Alexandre; Paulo Nadanovsky; Margo Wilson; Martin Daly; Claudia Leite Moraes; Michael Reichenheim
Date Published
August 2011
7 pages
This study examined whether cues of parental uncertainty affected the incidence of paternally perpetrated physical abuse as reported by the children's mothers.
The study found that for mothers who reported child physical abuse, 15.9 percent of the fathers had not lived with the mothers at the time of conception compared to 5.9 percent of fathers who had lived with the mothers; and that 8.7 percent of children were abused by fathers whom they allegedly did not resemble, compared to 7 percent of children who reportedly resembled their father. This study examined whether incidences of child physical abuse were made worse by fathers' perception of non-paternity of the child. Data for the study were obtained from a sample of 331 Brazilian mothers who were interviewed regarding allegations of child physical abuse of a child aged 1 to 12 years old. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the effect of two cues of non-paternity, whether the parents cohabitated at the time of conception and whether the child resembled the father, on the incidence of paternally perpetrated child physical abuse. The findings indicate that incidences of child physical abuse were four times more likely to occur if the parents did not cohabitate at the time of conception. Whether or not a child resembled their father had little to no effect on reported allegations of child physical abuse. Tables and references