Abstract: (see Poster Gallery) The Effect of Gender in the Cycle of Child Abuse in South Korea (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

527P (see Poster Gallery) The Effect of Gender in the Cycle of Child Abuse in South Korea

Saturday, January 14, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Dam I Kim, MCWS, Graduate Student, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Background and Purpose : Prior studies that attempted to understand child abuse in terms of intergenerational transmission of child abuse reported that perpetrators learn violence by experiencing abuse in childhood and, thus, are at a high risk of abusing their children. In particular, authoritarian parenting dominates Korean society, and most reports indicate parents are perpetrators of child abuse. However, there is a lack of empirical research focusing on the impact of parents’ childhood abuse who then abuse their children. In addition, there is no study focusing on whether parental child abuse varies depending on the gender of parents. Therefore, this study analyzed the moderating effect of gender in the cycle of child abuse.

Methods: This study analyzed data from the 2019 Domestic Violence Survey released by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family in South Korea. The final model included 1,922 sample (47.2% male and 52.8% female). We assessed the scale of childhood maltreatment using four items from the Parent–Child Conflict Tactics Scales (PCCTS, Straus et al., 1998) and two items from the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2, Straus et al., 1996). The scale of childhood maltreatment generated three subdimensions: physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. The scale of child abuse by parents is a revision of the Parent–Child Conflict Tactics Scale (CTSPC, Strauss & Hamby, 1997) and consists of physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. We used age, educational attainment, employment status, household income, intimate partner violence, and gender role attitude as covariates. In addition, we conducted multiple regression analyses to examine the moderating effect of gender in the relationship between childhood maltreatment and the perpetration of child abuse.

Results: The experience of parents’ abuse in their childhood was about 49.6%, and the prevalence of child abuse by parents was approximately 27.5%. Multiple regression analysis showed that childhood maltreatment experiences significantly increased parental child abuse (β = .150, p < .001). Females were more likely to abuse children than males (β= −.123, p < .001). Gender showed a significant moderating effect on child maltreatment experiences on parental child abuse (β = −.166, p < .001). Age (β = .056, p = .017) and intimate partner violence (β = .177, p < .001) among the covariates had a significant relationship with parental child abuse.

Conclusions and Implications: This study found a causal relationship between parents’ maltreatment as children and their subsequent abuse of their children. Thus, victims of childhood abuse should receive various psychotherapy. In addition, it is necessary to prevent child abuse by expanding parent education and child abuse prevention education for parents. This study also found that females who experienced child abuse and neglect were more likely to be perpetrators of child abuse than males. Accordingly, future studies should examine the differences in the types of abuse by parents depending on gender and strengthen therapeutic intervention for child abuse perpetrators.