Current Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 295–302 | Cite as

Comparison of Mothers’ and Fathers’ Child abuse potentials: A case of north cyprus

  • Utku BeyazitEmail author
  • Aynur Bütün Ayhan


The role of the current sociopolitical context in the north of Cyprus on the subject of child abuse remains unclear. By considering the unique context of the island, a comparison of mothers’ and fathers’ child abuse potential in north Cyprus is examined in this study. The participants of the study were 338 parents. The participants completed an “Information Form” and “Child Abuse Potential Inventory”. Although there are no statistically significant differences among the mothers’ and fathers’ potential risk for committing child abuse, child abuse potential was found to differ according to the birth places of the fathers, the ownership status of the homes in which the fathers live and the educational status of both the mothers and fathers. The findings suggest that the socioeconomic factors might impact child abuse potential in the migrant population of north Cyprus. As with the efforts on the prevention of child abuse, social support systems for the migrant families should be improved.


Child abuse Child abuse potential Father Mother 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. Ailincai, R., & Weil-Barais, A. (2013). Parenting education: Which intervention model to use? Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 106, 2008–2021.Google Scholar
  2. Akco, S., & Akbulut, B. (2016). Critics on the child protection services in Turkey. In T. Daglı (Ed.) Child protection systems. Istanbul: Publishing of Association of Supporting Child Protection Centers (pp. 102–113).Google Scholar
  3. Altafim, E. R. P., & Linahres, M. B. M. (2016). Universal violence and child maltreatment prevention programs for parents: A systematic review. Psychosocial Intervention, 25(1), 27–38.Google Scholar
  4. Annerbäck, E., Svedin, C., & Gustafsson, P. A. (2010). Characteristic features of severe child physical abuse—A multi-informant approach. Journal of Family Violence, 25, 165–172.Google Scholar
  5. Aragona, M., Pucci, D., Mazzetti, M., Maisano, B., & Geraci, S. (2013). Traumatic events, post-migration living difficulties and post-traumatic symptoms in first generation immigrants: A primary care study. Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 49(2), 169–179.Google Scholar
  6. Barth, R. P., & Liggett-Creel, K. (2014). Common components of parenting programs for children birth to eight years of age involved with child welfare services. Children and Youth Services Review, 40, 6–12.Google Scholar
  7. Berry, M., Charlson, R., & Dawson, K. (2003). Promising practices in understanding and treating child neglect. Child & Family Social Work, 8, 13–24.Google Scholar
  8. Berube, A., Lafantaisie, V., Diane, D., Coutu, S., Craon, J., & Devault, A. (2014). Using implementation evaluation to uncover a child neglect prevention program. Evaluation and Program Planning, 45, 1–18.Google Scholar
  9. Besim, M., & Jenkins, G. P. (2006). Informal but not insignificant: Unregistered workers in North Cyprus. Available at SSRN 897673.Google Scholar
  10. Beyazit, U., & Butun Ayhan, A. (2015). An overview of the scientific studies conducted in Turkey which examines the sexual abuse cases covering children as the victims [in Turkish]. The Journal of Academic Social Science Studies, 31, 443–453.Google Scholar
  11. Can, G. (2017). The predictive factors of child abuse potential. Master Thesis (Unpublished), Nicosia: Near East University.Google Scholar
  12. Chen, W., Propp, J., Delara, E., & Corvo, K. (2011). Child neglect and its association with subsequent juvenile drug and alcohol offense. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 28, 273–290.Google Scholar
  13. Clement, M. E., Berube, A., & Chamberland, C. (2016). Prevalence and risk factors of child neglect in the general population. Public Health, 1–7.Google Scholar
  14. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences Hillsdale. New York: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  15. Crandell, T., Crandell, C., & Zanden, J. V. (2012). Human development. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  16. Crouch, J. L., & Behl, E. (2001). Relationships among parental beliefs in corporal punishment, reported stress, and physical child abuse potential. Child Abuse & Neglect, 25(3), 413–419.Google Scholar
  17. Davidson-Arad, B., Benbenishty, R., Chen, W., Glasser, S., Zur, S., & Lerner-Geva, L. (2010). Distinguishing neglect from abuse and accident: Analysis of the case files of a hospital child protection team in Israel. Health & Social Care in the Community, 18(6), 614–623.Google Scholar
  18. Dokmen, Z. Y. (2004). Gender, sociopolitical explanations. İstanbul: Sistem Publishing [In Turkish].Google Scholar
  19. Douglas, E. M. (2014). A comparison of child fatalities by physical abuse versus neglect: Child, family, service, and worker characteristics. Journal of Social Service Research, 40, 259–273.Google Scholar
  20. Dubowitz, H., Papas, M. A., Black, M. M., & Starr, R. H. (2002). Child neglect: Outcomes in high-risk urban preschoolers. Pediatrics, 109(6), 1100–1107.Google Scholar
  21. Dunn, M. G., Tarter, R. E., Mezzich, A. C., Vanyukov, M., Kirisci, L., & Kirillova, G. (2002). Origins and consequences of child neglect in substance abuse families. Clinical Psychology Review, 22, 1063–1090.Google Scholar
  22. Ferrari, A. M. (2002). The impact of culture upon child rearing practices and definitions of maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 26, 793–813.Google Scholar
  23. Glaser, D. (2002). Emotional abuse and neglect (psychological maltreatment): A conceptual framework. Child Abuse & Neglect, 26, 697–714.Google Scholar
  24. Guterman, N. B., Tabone, J. K., Bryan, G. M., Taylor, C. A., Napoleon-Hanger, C., & Banman, A. (2013). Examining the effectiveness of home-based parent aide services to reduce risk for physical child abuse and neglect: Six-month findings from a randomized clinical trial. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37, 566–577.Google Scholar
  25. Hartley, C. C. (2004). Severe domestic violence and child maltreatment: Considering child physical abuse, neglect, and failure to protect. Children and Youth Services Review, 26, 373–392.Google Scholar
  26. Hatay, M. (2008). The problem of pigeons: Orientalism, xenophobia and a rhetoric of the ‘local’ in North Cyprus. The Cyprus Review, 20(2), 145–172.Google Scholar
  27. Hatay, M., & Bryant, R. (2009). Migrant cities research: Nicosia north. Report Published by British Council.Google Scholar
  28. Herlihy, J. (2005). Evidentiary assessment and psychological difficulties. In G. Noll (Ed.), Proof, evidentiary assessment and credibility in asylum procedures (pp. 123–137). Boston: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  29. Hidalgo, M. V., Jiménez, L., López-Verdugo, I., Lorence, B., & Sánchez, J. (2016). “Family education and support” program for families at psychosocial risk: The role of implementation process. Psychosocial Intervention, March, 1–7.Google Scholar
  30. Holden, E. W., & Banez, G. A. (1996). Child abuse potential and parenting stress within maltreating families. Journal of Family Violence, 11, 1–12.Google Scholar
  31. Kutsal, E. (2004). The sociodemographic characteristics of child abuse and the reliability of Milner child abuse potential inventory in Turkey. Ph. D. Thesis (unpublished), Ankara: University of Gazi.Google Scholar
  32. Laskey, A. L., Stump, T. E., Perkins, S. M., Zimet, G., Sherman, S. J., & Downs, S. M. (2012). Influence of race and socioeconomic status on the diagnosis of child abuse: A randomized study. The Journal of Pediatrics, 160(6), 1003–1008.Google Scholar
  33. Lee, M. A., Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., & Dush, C. M. K. (2012a). Parenting perfectionism and parental adjustment. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 454–457.Google Scholar
  34. Lee, S. J., Taylor, C. A., & Bellamy, J. L. (2012b). Paternal depression and risk for child neglect in father-involved families of young children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36, 461–469.Google Scholar
  35. Letarte, M., Normandeau, S., & Allard, J. (2010). Effectiveness of a parent training program “incredible years” in a child protection service. Child Abuse & Neglect, 34, 253–261.Google Scholar
  36. Lewin, D., & Herron, H. (2007). Signs, symptoms and risk factors: Health visitors’ perspectives of child neglect. Child Abuse Review, 16, 93–107.Google Scholar
  37. Lueck, K., & Wilson, M. (2011). Acculturative stress in Latino immigrants: The impact of social, socio-psychological and migration-related factors. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35(2), 186–195.Google Scholar
  38. MacLeod, J., & Nelson, G. (2000). Programs for the promotion of family wellness and the prevention of child maltreatment: A meta-analytic review. Child Abuse & Neglect, 24(9), 1127–1149.Google Scholar
  39. Mainwaring, C. (2008). On the edge of exclusion: The changing nature of migration in Cyprus and Malta. The Cyprus Review, 20(2), 19–49.Google Scholar
  40. Margolin, G., Gordis, E. B., Medina, A. M., & Oliver, P. H. (2003). The co-occurrence of husband-towife aggression, family-of-origin aggression, and child abuse potential in a community sample ımplications for parenting. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18(4), 413–440.Google Scholar
  41. Martin, A., Najma, J. M., Williams, G. M., Bor, W., Gorton, E., & Alatti, R. (2011). Longitudinal analysis of maternal risk factors for childhood sexual abuse: Early attitudes and behaviours, socioeconomic status, and mental health. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 45, 629–637.Google Scholar
  42. Mash, E., & Wolfe, D.A. (2007). Abnormal child psychology. Belmont: Wadswort.Google Scholar
  43. McCartan, F. M., Law, H., Murphy, H., & Bailey, M. (2011). Child and adolescent females who present with sexually abusive behaviours: A 10-year UK prevalence study. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 17(1), 4–14.Google Scholar
  44. McDaniel, B., & Dillenburger, K. (2007). Canchildhood neglect be assessed and prevented through childcare skills training? Child Abuse Review, 16, 120–129.Google Scholar
  45. Mersky, J. P., Topitzes, J. D., & Reynolds, A. J. (2011). Maltreatment prevention through early childhood intervention: A confirmatory evaluation of the Chicago child–parent center preschool program. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 1454–1463.Google Scholar
  46. Miller-Perrin, C. L., & Perrin, R. D. (2007). Child maltreatment: An introduction. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  47. Milner, J. S. (2003). Social information processing in high-risk and physically abusive parents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 27, 7–20.Google Scholar
  48. Milner, J. S., & Ayoub, C. (1980). Evaluation of "at risk" parents usıng the child abuse potential inventory. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 36(4), 945–948.Google Scholar
  49. Nair, P., Schuler, M. E., Black, M. M., Kettinger, L., & Harrington, D. (2003). Cumulative environmental risk in substance abusing women: Early intervention, parenting stress, child abuse potential and child development. Child Abuse & Neglect, 27, 997–1017.Google Scholar
  50. Nicklas, E., & Mackenzie, M. J. (2013). Intimate partner violence and risk for child neglect during early childhood in a community sample of fragile families. Journal of Family Violence, 28, 17–29.Google Scholar
  51. Ozgun, O., Erden, S., & Ciftci, M. A. (2011). Examining different perspectives on fatherhood: A socio-cultural approach. Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, 364–368.Google Scholar
  52. Pajer, K. A., Gardner, W. G., Lourie, A., Chang, C., Wang, W., & Currie, L. (2014). Physical child abuse potential in adolescent girls: Associations with psychopathology, maltreatment, and attitudes toward child-bearing. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 59(2), 98–106.Google Scholar
  53. Parke, R. D., & Gauvain, M. (2009). Child psychology. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  54. Pereira, M., Negra, M., Soares, I., & Mesman, J. (2015). Predicting harsh discipline in at-risk mothers: The moderating effect of socioeconomic deprivation severity. Journal of Family Studies, 24, 725–733.Google Scholar
  55. Polat, O. (2007). [Child abuse: Definitions]. Ankara, Turkey: Seçkin Publishing. [In Turkish].Google Scholar
  56. Purkis, S., & Kurtulus, H. (2013). Spatially segregated and socially excluded Turkish migrants in northern Cyprus: An alternative perspective. Journal of İ.Ü. Politicaly Sciences Faculty, 48, 1–22.Google Scholar
  57. Roberts, R., O’ Connor, T., Dunn, J., & Golding, J. (2004). The effects of child sexual abuse in later life; mental health, parenting and adjustment of offspring. Child Abuse & Neglect, 28, 525–545.Google Scholar
  58. Rohner, R. P., Khalefque, A., & Cournoyer, D. E. (2005). Parental acceptance-rejection: Theory, methods, cross-cultural evidence, and implications. Ethos, 33(3), 229–334.Google Scholar
  59. Romero-Martinez, A., Figueiredoa, B., Moya, B., & Albiol, L. (2014). Childhood history of abuse and child abuse potential: The role of parent’s gender and timing of childhood abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38, 510–516.Google Scholar
  60. Runyon, R., Coleman, K., & Pittenger, D. (1999). Fundamentals of behavioral statistics. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  61. Sebre, S., Sprugevica, I., Novotni, A., Bonevski, D., Pakalniskiene, V., Popescu, D., Turchina, T., Friedrich, W., & Lewis, O. (2004). Cross-cultural comparisons of child-reported emotional and physical abuse: Rates, risk factors and psychosocial symptoms. Child Abuse & Neglect, 28, 113–127.Google Scholar
  62. Slack, K. S., Berger, L. M., Dumont, K., Yang, M., Kim, B., Ehrhard-Dietzel, S., & Holl, J. L. (2011). Risk and protective factors for child neglect during early childhood: A cross-study comparison. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 1354–1363.Google Scholar
  63. Stewart, C., Mezzich, A. C., & Bang-Shiuh, D. (2006). Parental psychopathology and paternal child neglect in late childhood. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15(5), 543–554.Google Scholar
  64. Sundquist, J., Bayard-Burfield, L., Johansson, L. M., & Johansson, S. (2000). Impact of ethnicity, violence and acculturation on displaced migrants: Psychological distress and psychosomatic complaints among refugees in Sweden. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 188(6), 357–365.Google Scholar
  65. Svensson, B., Bornehag, C., & Janson, S. (2011). Chronic conditions in children increase the risk for physical abuse – But vary with socio-economic circumstances. Acta Paediatrica, 100, 407–412.Google Scholar
  66. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidel, L. S. (2013). Using multivariate statistics. New York: Pearson.Google Scholar
  67. Tyler, S., Allison, K., & Winsler, A. (2006). Child neglect: Developmental consequences, intervention, and policy implications. Child & Youth Care Forum, 35(1), 1–20.Google Scholar
  68. UNICEF (2014). The state of the World’s children 2014 in numbers. New York: United Nations Publications.Google Scholar
  69. Weishaar, H. B. (2008). Consequences of international migration: A qualitative study on stress among polish migrant workers in Scotland. Public Health, 122(11), 1250–1256.Google Scholar
  70. WHO (2015). Child maltreatment ("child abuse"). Retried from < abuse/en/.
  71. Wolfe, D. A., & McIsaac, C. (2011). Distinguishing between poor/dysfunctional parenting and child emotional maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 35, 802–813.Google Scholar
  72. Zeybekoglu, O. (2013). Contemporary fatherhood and the family from the male perspectives [in Turkish]. Mediterranean Journal of Humanities, 3(2), 297–328.Google Scholar
  73. Zolotor, A. J., Theodor, A. D., & Runyan, D. K. (2011). Corporal punishment and physical abuse: Population-based trends for three-to-11-year-old children in the United States. Child Abuse Review, 20, 57–66.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kumluca Health Sciences Faculty, Child Development DepartmentAkdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey
  2. 2.Akdeniz Üniversitesi Kumluca Sağlık Bilimleri Fakültesi, Temel Eğitim MahKumlucaTurkey
  3. 3.Faculty of Health Sciences, Child Development DepartmentAnkara UniversityAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations