Concept analysis of child abuse

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Child abuse is a serious health problem, which threatens children and has a wide reaching effect on family and society. While the concept of child abuse and related factors have been widely explored in interdisciplinary studies, a definition of 'child abuse' that is both precise and consistent has yet to be given. Lack of such limits the ability of clinicians to identify child abuse in clinical settings, and creates difficulties in conducting rigorous scientific research studies. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to analyze the concept of child abuse based on literature published between 1960 and 2008 (n=32) using Walker and Avant's concept analysis model in which child abuse is determined along two dimensions. These dimensions include the objective physical dimension, which addresses children younger than 20 years of age who experience repeated injuries or whose history of injury is incompatible with the findings of physical examinations, and the subjective psychological dimension, which addresses children who were treated unfairly or malevolently and their subsequent subjective feelings. Antecedents consist of abuser, victim, and environmental characteristics. Consequences include both physical and psychological aspects. Nurses and other professionals should benefit from a clearer definition of child abuse in their clinical and research settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)


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