Socioeconomic Conditions Can Lead to Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Abuse of Children

The Other Perspective

Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children is more likely to occur in the environments where the presence of socioeconomic negative factors aggravates the situation and serves as the trigger for the emergence of abusive behaviors, yet the specified factors are not the necessary prerequisites of the studied phenomenon. Quite the contrary the development of abusive tendencies in relationships between adults and children may also occur in the settings that can be described as socially, financially, and economically secure.

Although instances of correlation and causation between the levels of poverty ad the risk of child abuse have been located on a case-by-case basis, certain instances indicate that the threat of child neglect and maltreatment should not be overlooked when considering families of an affluent profile. For instance, the study by Bernard (2019), the threat of child neglect and abuse does not vary significantly depending on the extent of wealth that a family may possess.

In fact, the study specifies that the lack of focus on the possibility of neglect and abuse of children in wealthy families may lead to drastic outcomes and the instances of particularly aggravated cases of physical emotional, and sexual abuse of children in affluent families (Bernard, 2019). In fact, among the main factors that typically cause child abuse, the issues such as the history of abuse running in the family, the instance s of family dysfunction, and the absence of understanding of child development are usually listed (Runarsdottir et al., 2019). Since the specified factors are not inherently linked to the extent of wealth within a family, wealthy households should also be screened for the possible cases of child abuse.


However, while the idea that child abuse may occur in rich families as well is a rather legitimate supposition, verifying which may help avoid and address a range of cases of child abuse, it is also necessary to keep in mind that financial insecurities entail a range of risk factors for child abuse. For instance, poverty-stricken households are more known for their inhabitants to engage in substance abuse and other destructive behaviors, which, in turn, cause the disruption in parent-child relationships and the immediate drop in safeguarding (Featherstone et al., 2019). As a result, the threat of a child being exposed to the risk of abuse increase exponentially (Trauffer & Widom, 2017).

For this reason, wealthy households have a doubtless advantage over those from disadvantaged backgrounds in terms of the extent of child safety and the opportunities for preventing child abuse. Lastly, due to the lack of proper education on child development and child psychology, people from impoverished households are likely to have no understanding of how child abuse can be spotted and prevented from happening, which is why years of child neglect and abusive behaviors may pass unnoticed in poor households.

Final Conclusions

Although, from the rational thinking perspective, there should be no difference in the levels of threat of child abuse in rich and poor households, those with higher levels of economic welfare tend to show lower rates of child abuse. The observed tendency can be justified by the presence of financial security that reduces the probability of behaviors and attitudes leading to child abuse in adults. Additionally, the abuse cycle perpetuated by previous generations is typically nonexistent in rich households, which also lowers the risk of child abuse. However, when thee specified phenomenon does occur in households with higher welfare rate, spotting and reporting it becomes a particularly challenging task.


Bernard, C. (2019). Recognizing and addressing child neglect in affluent families. Child & Family Social Work, 24(2), 340-347. Web.

Featherstone, B., Morris, K., Daniel, B., Bywaters, P., Brady, G., Bunting, L.,… Mirza, N. (2019). Poverty, inequality, child abuse and neglect: Changing the conversation across the UK in child protection? Children and Youth Services Review, 97, 127-133. Web.

Runarsdottir, E., Smith, E., & Arnarsson, A. (2019). The effects of gender and family wealth on sexual abuse of adolescents. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(10), 1788. Web.

Trauffer, N., & Widom, C. S. (2017). Child abuse and neglect, and psychiatric disorders in nonviolent and violent female offenders. Violence and Gender, 4(4), 137-143. Web.

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