Links between social deprivation and harm to children: a study of parenting in social disadvantage

Tuck, Victor David (1995). Links between social deprivation and harm to children: a study of parenting in social disadvantage. PhD thesis The Open University.



What is the nature of the links which may exist between social deprivation and harm to children?

In seeking to shed light on the nature of these links this thesis will draw upon a study of parents' perceptions of the problems faced by them in bringing up children in neighbourhoods characterised by high scores on indices of social deprivation and high levels of child protection registrations.

It will be demonstrated that parents facing social disadvantage encounter a range of adversities and hindrances which may have a cumulative adverse effect upon the care of children.

The problems to which these lead will be shown to be linked by three main strands:-

- social deprivation contributes to the existence of socially and economically impoverished neighbourhoods in which it is difficult for parents to provide a safe and healthy environment for children

- by creating material, social, interpersonal and intrapersonal barriers in families, social deprivation can prevent parents from achieving the standards of parenting to which they might aspire and which society expects of them

- in interaction with many other factors, social deprivation can contribute to high levels of psychosocial stress within families that may lead some parents to physically injure or neglect their children.

In these ways the study will develop the argument that harm to children is linked to deficits in material resources and complex, interacting psychosocial stress factors.

The study will be seen to have major implications for service-provision under the Children Act 1989 and promoting "partnership with parents".

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