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Parenting in South African mothers with a history of family violence. Shereen Moolla and Catherine L. Ward Department of Psychology University of Cape Town. UCT’s Safety and Violence Initiative ( SaVI ). Engineering and the Built Environment: Town planning Humanities:

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Parenting in South African mothers with a history of family violence

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Parenting in South African mothers with a history of family violence

ShereenMoolla and Catherine L. Ward

Department of Psychology

University of Cape Town


UCT’s Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI)

  • Engineering and the Built Environment:

    • Town planning

  • Humanities:

    • Anthropology; linguistics; film & media studies; psychology; religious studies; social development; sociology

  • Health sciences:

    • Forensic medicine; Gender, Health & Justice Research Unit; primary health care directorate; psychiatry; public health; surgery

  • Law

    • Law, Race & Gender Research Unit; criminology; public law


This presentation

  • Some background on intimate partner violence and child maltreatment in South Africa

  • Family violence and parenting

  • Methodology for our study

  • Findings:

    • Demographics

    • Mothers’ histories of family violence

    • Mothers’ parenting

    • Children’s behaviour

    • Risk and protective factors

    • Relationships among variables

  • Interpretations and implications


Thanks to:

  • Nicia de Nobrega, Abigail Miles and IngeWessels

  • The SaartjieBaartman Centre, REACH, the New World Foundation, Self-Help Mannenberg, Carehaven, the Westlake Community Centre, Place of Hope, Village Care, and the Islamic Resource Foundation of South Africa

  • The UCT University Research Committee and the National Research Foundation


Intimate partner violence in SA

  • 8.8% of men working in the Cape Town municipality report IPV against a partner in the last year (Abrahams et al., 2006)

  • At least half of female homicide victims are killed by their intimate partners (Seedat et al., 2009):

    • In 1999, this was therefore at least 1,899 women, or 12.4 per 100,000

    • The rate of homicide for women (all causes) is 6x the average rate worldwide


Child maltreatment in South Africa

  • 44.6% of the homicides due to CAN

  • 35.7% of these due to abandonment in the first week after birth

  • 74% of the CAN homicides among children aged 0-4

    Mathews et al., 2012


Consequences of family violence

  • Increased depression and anxiety

  • Increased substance misuse

  • Internalised model of violence as a way to solve problems


Risk and protection for parenting

Child behavioural problems


Methodology

  • Mothers were recruited from NGOs serving women across Cape Town

  • Inclusion criteria:

    • Women with a child aged 3-8

    • The child’s behaviour concerned mother

    • Had not received any parenting intervention

  • Interviewed 215 women, excluded 12:

    • 4 had children > 8

    • 6 had too much missing data

    • 2 had either a “yes” or a “no” response set


Measures

  • Demographics

  • CTS-2 - intimate partner violence

  • ICAST-R - history of childhood abuse

  • PC-CTS - parent/child conflict

  • ECBI - child behaviour problems

  • PSOC - parent competence

  • PSI - parental stress

  • GHQ - maternal mental health

  • ASSIST - substance misuse

  • Duke Social Support Scale


Demographics

  • Mean age: 32.4 years old.

  • Marital status: mostly single (46.80%).

  • Language: mostly Afrikaans and isiXhosa (38.42 % and 42.37%) respectively.

  • Children: 65% had more than one child

  • 82.76% were unemployed

  • Education: 62.56% of the participants had not completed high school

  • Housing:

    • 53.21% participants lived in formal housing

    • 16.26% l in outbuildings in someone’s backyard

    • 8.87% in shacks

    • 20.20% in flats

  • 13% of the women interviewed were living in shelters for abused women at the time of the interview.


Poverty

  • Access to electricity, a phone, a television and a private motor-car: 12.32% had access to all four commodities.

  • Food security: 72.91% had ‘run out of money to buy food at least once that year’

  • 34.48% ‘had to go to bed hungry sometimes’

  • 81% received the child support grant


Mothers’ history of IPV


Mothers’ history of child abuse


What parenting techniques did parents use?


Children’s behaviour


Other factors


Relationships among variables

  • Higher maternal age was associated with child behaviour problems

  • Running out of money for food was associated with child behaviour problems

  • Getting income from work was associated with child behaviour problems

  • Mothers’ histories of family violence were significantly associated with child behaviour problems

    • This relationship is mediated by parental stress, parent-child conflict and parental competence

    • But not by maternal mental health, substance misuse, or social support


Parental Stress

CR=4.841

CR = 10.308

CR =2.992

FamilyViolence

CR =2.152

Child Behaviour Problems

Parent/Child Conflict

CR = 2.040

Parental Incompetence

2 = 8.683; df = 6; p = 0.192; CFI = 0.964; TLI = 0.986; RMSEA = 0.047 (0.000 , 0.110)


Implications

  • If women seek help for parenting, ask about their histories of family violence

  • If women seek help for family violence, ask about their children’s wellbeing

  • Prevent child maltreatment and intimate partner violence

  • Programmes that boost parental competence – parent training programmes – may well reduce parental stress and improve child behaviour


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