3.1 db: models 2 responses

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 In response to your peers, identify protective factors that may support the family in avoiding or overcoming physical abuse 

1. One model that can help explain the risk factors and dynamics leading to physical abuse in parenting is the environmental-based model. Austin et al. (2020), states in their article that this model focuses on the external factors and environmental stressors that contribute to abusive behaviors. It suggests that certain risk factors within the family and broader social context can increase the likelihood of physical abuse.

Environmental-Based Model:

The environmental-based model emphasizes the impact of various risk factors on family dynamics, parent characteristics, and child well-being. These risk factors can include:

  • Socioeconomic Stressors: Families facing financial difficulties, poverty, unemployment, or inadequate housing may experience increased stress and frustration, which can contribute to a higher risk of physical abuse.
  • Parental Substance Abuse: Substance abuse issues, such as alcohol or drug addiction, can impair a parent’s judgment, impulse control, and ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their child, increasing the risk of physical abuse.
  • Parental Mental Health Issues: Parents with untreated or poorly managed mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or personality disorders, may struggle with emotional regulation and parenting skills, increasing the risk of physical abuse.
  • History of Abuse: Parents who have experienced abuse themselves, either as children or in their adult lives, may be more likely to perpetrate abuse on their own children, due to a cycle of violence, where the learned behavior is repeated.
  • Stressful Life Events: Significant life events such as divorce, loss of a loved one, or job loss can increase stress levels within the family, potentially leading to an increased risk of physical abuse.

Prior research has largely focused on risk and protective factors at the individual and interpersonal levels of the socioecological model. More recently, research has begun to examine risk and protective factors at the community and societal levels, with results suggesting that programmatic and policy interventions that reduce risk and enhance protection at these levels are promising primary prevention strategies for child maltreatment (Austin et al., 2020). So, it is important to note that these risk factors do not guarantee that physical abuse will occur, but they increase the vulnerability of families and contribute to an environment where abusive behaviors are more likely to happen.

Question for the class: What are some potential interventions or strategies to address these risk factors and prevent physical abuse?

2.  The interactional model suggests that physical abuse is a result of a lack of effective communication, ineffective problem-solving, and inappropriate coping mechanisms used by parents to deal with stress and frustration. The risk factors that can impact family dynamics, parents, and children’s relation to physical abuse are the parents experience high levels of stress and frustration and may be more likely to engage in physical abuse as a means of coping with their emotions. Parents who have a supportive social network, such as friends, family, and community resources, may be less likely to engage in physical abuse (Zoysa, 2008).

Question- What are some of the most protective risk factors concerning physical abuse, and how can parents use this knowledge to create a safe environment for their children?


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