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Influence of Unemployment and Divorce Rate on Child Help-Seeking Behavior About Violence, Relationships, and Other Issues

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 37 Issue: 2-3 Dated: February/March 2013 Pages: 172-180
Willemijn M. van Dolen; Charles B. Weinberg; Leiming Ma
Date Published
March 2013
9 pages
This study investigated the relationship between unemployment, divorce rates, and children's help-seeking behavior.
This study examined the behavior of young people and looked at the relationship between unemployment, divorce rates, and the help-seeking behavior of the children. The study found that situations of unemployment in the family led to increases in the number of calls to the helpline, with the rate of conversations dealing with violence and relationships increasing as well. In addition, the study found that when divorce rates increased, so too did the number of calls to the helpline. The nature of the conversations was different, however, from those related to calls during times of unemployment. When calls were made as a result of divorce, the share of conversations related to violence and relationships actually decreased. The study also found the number of calls to the helpline decreased for children who watched violent movies at home, and that the volume of calls showed slight variation from month to month. These findings suggest the need for more resources aimed at providing assistance to children at risk of violence who seek help via telephone and internet helplines. Data for the study were obtained through a time-series analysis of monthly call volumes to a child helpline in the Netherlands between 2003 and 2008. Data on the topics discussed during these calls were also analyzed. Figure, tables, and references