Physical Child Abuse: What Are the External Factors?

  •  Noremy M. A.    
  •  Zulkarnain A. H.    
  •  Kelvin F.    
  •  Adanan M. J.    
  •  Sarah W. M. H.    


Children are an integral asset for future development of a nation. In lieu with this notion, countries pay much attention to their development and well being. In recent times, child abuse has been rampant. This issue is constantly making headlines in national newspapers in Malaysia. The alarming effect of this phenomenon is its inevitable implication on the family institution and the nation’s aspiration to create a better tomorrow. This current study is an attempt to discover the contributory factors of physical child abuse in Malaysia. The objective of this study was to identify the background and demography of abuser and to identify the external factors that cause a parent to abuse their child. This case study was conducted in Selangor amongst eight Malay respondents using an in-depth interview session. This study found that external factors as the major contributory factor to physical child abuse. The factors are financial constraints, family crisis, character and disobedience of the children or so called ‘deviant children’, surroundings of the home, conflict with neighbours or lack of social support, parent’s mental illness and and influence of alcohol. Hence these factors are articulated and interpreted by the researcher. Implications of this research, profession who work with children such as social worker, psycologist and counselor should look into the external factors that contribute to the physical child abuse in designing intervention, cure and effective strategies to overcome this problem. In future, protecting children needs collective effort from policy maker, authority body, non-government organization and member of society.

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