, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 95-105

Child abuse by baby-sitters: An ecological-interactional interpretation

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This study explored the social contexts in which physical abuse by baby-sitters occurred. This was accomplished through a content analysis of 98 “founded” case records of physical abuse committed by baby-sitters. In 70% of the case records there was evidence that sitters had a conflict with the victim prior to the abusive act. Children fighting with other children was the most common type of disturbance, followed by conflicts surrounding toilet training, children's continuous crying, disobedience, and rudeness. There was evidence that parents' explicit or implicit approval of baby-sitters' violence contributed to the child abuse in approximately one-quarter of the cases.

This research was supported by a grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.